Many people are surprised to find that both my kids can read. Yes, they are autistic as the day is long but Liam has been reading, AND comprehending what he reads since he was 3.
One of Liam's favourite games when he was little was reciting the alphabet; As a Hanen exercise he would give me eye contact in return for me saying each letter. He also loved to request that I draw an animal for each letter and as a result I think I know every animal in the world that starts or includes the letter X!
When he began using picture exchange I had to make a card to represent the word "Zoo" as we were going there on a "lets stimulate some language" trip. As you can see my drawing of a lion in a cage was so bad that I knew he couldn't tell what it was - but the first time I showed it to him, he very clearly said "ZOO" - and I knew he could read.
I can also tell that Gracie knows the order of letters in the word "Elmo" and how to type them into a search engine; so it will give her a drop down box to scroll through and find a website or YouTube clip.
However - Gracie is not so hot on the sounds of letters. And she needs a lot of help with this as the Phonetics of the alphabet are very important for developing her oral motor skills and improving her articulation.
So I was delighted to see that Mr Thorne - of the very popular "Mr Thorne does Phonics" YouTube channel has developed an App for iPad.
It is basically everything that is already available on his website but with touch screen usability, ready for sharing off-line wherever and whenever you like.
I find that sharing a computer based activity is much easier with an iPad - you are not fighting for control of the mouse or touch pad and you can encourage hand on hand navigation of the pages, fading your support when needed.
Mr Thorne is a primary school teacher so he really knows his stuff and how to teach it. Unlike a mainstream classroom however, you can tailor the lessons to suit your learner, and pause or move on to suit their pace.
It also has the all important "Blue Wiggle/Spencer/Sportacus" factor where the presenter is quite nice to look at.
I have a code for you to download Mr Thorne Does Phonics Free.
Leave a comment and I will draw you out of an actual hat tomorrow night.
It is only 6 bucks anyway so if you like the look and you don't win, buy it anyway. Great little learning tool.
In the interest of full disclosure I should point out that Mr Thorne already gave me a free download but if I didn't like the app I would have just said nothing - ignoring all his emails. I get offered a lot of JUNK to promote on this blog and I ignore most of it.