What happens when a veteran Speech Language Pathologist marries a Designer, and they have a child with High Functioning Autism?Well... if the moons align correctly, you get some really fabulous apps!
Jennifer Minnelli is the SLP, and her husband Pete Minnelli is the Designer. Integrating their unique skill sets they founded a company called Rubycube which creates mobile apps for children with high functioning autism, ADHD, and other social challenges. Currently they are producing a series of apps called Storysmart.
Ultimately, the Minnelli's plan is to create six stories in the suite. Currently there are two ready from iTunes. The stories are very reasonably priced at $3.99 a piece. In addition, the Minnellis intend to make the apps for the Android platform soon.
Therapeutically speaking, this app packs a whole-lot-of-punch for SLPs, OTs, or educators who bring their clinical reasoning tools with them.
One feature I'd like to see added would be the ability to either significantly enlarge the font, or change the contrast. The inherent difficulty would likley be that this might change the layout of the pages, but it could make the app more accessible for those with visual impairments.
As noted above, Rubycube has two stories ready to be purchased:
- Trudy Goes to the Beach: focuses on what is expected on a family vacation.
- Casey's Big Day: focuses on what is expected from a student on his first day of 5th grade, including modulation and transitions.
They are working on the following:
- Ruby Gets in the Game: focusing on playing a team sport, and the nuances of following directions, paying attention, and getting along with others.
- Mario's Big Reactions: focuses on modulation and appropriate problem solving.
- Pia Stands up for Herself: focuses on navigating friendships and self advocating.
- Aaron Plays it Safe: focuses on personal space.
If you work or live with a youngster struggling with social skills for any reason, Rubycube's Storysmart suite is a "must-have" set of apps.