Smile at Me
- App Store Info
Description✩FizzBrain's "Look in My Eyes" series featured on "60 Minutes" October 23, 2011!✩ "Another great app from fizzbrain ★★★★★ Fizzbrain really have excelled themselves again in producing this app. They really have a great understanding of autism and aspergers and this shows through in their apps. This one works really well in helping the child understand how and when to smile, a wonderful skill to have in life. Very inspired development." - From parent review (Australia)
Is smiling an issue for your child? "Smile at Me" is an engaging way to practice this social skill in a safe setting – with fun rewards!
- See how it's played: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV9TNzpVhZE
Smiling can be difficult for many children. Some children – particularly those with autism spectrum issues – may feel uncomfortable and resist smiling when it is appropriate. They may also smile when it is inappropriate to do so. Some children also have difficulty interpreting the social cues that signal when a smile is or is not appropriate. "Smile at Me" provides quick, repeated practice in interpreting these social cues, and rewards children for practicing appropriate smiling.
The game is simple. The player is asked to hold the iPhone or iPod Touch like a mirror – so that he can see his mouth reflected in the glass. He is then shown a picture. The picture may call for a smile – for example, a girl waving. Or the picture may not call for a smile – for example, a boy fallen from his bicycle. The player is asked to form his mouth into the correct shape – to smile or not to smile – based on the picture. The picture dims every few seconds to allow the player to view his own reflection and monitor his mouth's shape. The player is asked to compare his mouth's reflection with two images - one showing a child's smile, the other showing a child's unsmiling mouth – and touch the image that matches his mouth. If the player is correct, he is rewarded with a star; if not, he is given further verbal support to interpret the pictures and respond appropriately. After four stars, the player gets to visit a virtual zoo, interacting with animated animals – and practicing more social skills with a virtual friend!
Our hope is that through practice children can become self-analytical as they learn to look at and evaluate their own facial expressions. At first, children may need parental support to interpret the pictures and determine if a smile is appropriate or not. But over time the goal is to gradually withdraw such support so that children can move toward independence.
We believe children can build up tolerance for uncomfortable social skills through repeated practice. We believe this is especially important in basic social situations such as initial greetings and smiling. In fact, even if children have difficulty socializing, simply smiling and greeting appropriately can help them better fit into a typical social context. And we know from our years of teaching experience that social skills can benefit a child's self-esteem.
We have many years of close personal experience with children who have Asperger's Syndrome and we believe smiling is a cultural norm that can be learned with practice. But we also respect parents who disagree.
We want the children we work with to approximate typical social behaviors as much as possible, and we know there are many other parents who feel the same. Because our culture values smiling in social interactions we want to help children foster this skill – and what better way than with a motivating game! Of course, we can make no guarantees that practicing with a game will affect real behavior. But if you share our perspective, give "Smile at Me" a try – and let us know what you think!
You may also be interested in taking a look at some of our other social skills games - search iTunes for FizzBrain or go to www.FizzBrain.com. And check out the ★★★★★ parent reviews of our apps!