Developer: Pyxwise Software Inc.
Platform: iPhone and iPad (English)
Category: Reading and Writing Apps
Simplex Spelling HD Efficiently Integrates Phonics
Many parents who would like to teach their child with autism how to spell wouldn’t know where to begin. I would say that Simplex Spelling HD from Pyxwise Software is a wonderful starting point!
This application not only offers the basics that you’d expect (word lists, feedback, progress tracking, etc.), but it also does an awesome job of working phonics into the mix. The emphasis on the sounds that letters make will really help kids affected by ASD get a better handle on spelling a lot of basic words!
Simplex Spelling: One Step Set-Up
When I launched Simplex Spelling HD, I was expecting a layout with less pre-loaded word lists and a requirement that you start making your own, and was glad that this is not what I found.
The set-up for this spelling autism application is seamless, since it’s only one step long. Just hit the “create an account” button that shows up on the home page of the app, type in the name of the user, and you’re ready to get started with the application!
Spelling With Phonics: The Basics of The Interface
After you start a word list, five buttons appear on the screen (in addition to the on-page keyboard). The graph in the bottom left is a progress checker that allows you and the user to view student completed lists, including details about words they have mastered (i.e. they have spelled to a certain level of accuracy in a certain number of attempts.)
The cog wheel brings up the basic settings for the app: volume, whether you would like spellings to be in U.S., Canadian, or British style, and more! The question mark is a basic help menu, while the speaker button will make the program repeat the word that is to be spelled. The Hint button is something that I want to talk about in a bit more depth, since it is essential to the success of Simplex Spelling HD.
Hint Button: Phonics, Highlight Letters on The Keyboard, and More!
The Hint Button is one of the biggest reasons why I love this spelling application. When the user taps it, a small silver button will appear under the spaces where the designated letters in the word are to show up. Tapping on these small silver buttons will bring up possible combinations for the phonic that the particular letter represents.
For example, if your child is spelling the word “hi”, the first silver hint button under the first letter would make an “h” sound and display the letter h under the button. (Additionally, h lights up on the keyboard.)
The second hint button under the “i” position would make an “i” sound and bring up a small drop-down menu with the possible letter combinations that could produce that sound. (Only the letter “I” is highlighted in this menu.)
In words like “the” – letters don’t always behave like they’re supposed to. The hint button will bring up the phonic “th” for the first two letters, but what about the “e”? We don’t pronounce it as a typical “e” sound in the word “the,” and the app recognizes this. Therefore, the box where the rule-breaking letter needs to go is highlighted red to let the user know that there is something special about this particular word.
Color-Coded Feedback System
Another great feature that this spelling app for children with autism has to offer is its simple color-coding feedback system. When you’re typing a word, inputting a letter will stimulate one of three responses: a red highlight, a blue highlight, or a green highlight.
Red means that this letter is not in the word at all, blue means that the letter is in the wrong place, and green means that you’ve got one right! There is no negative feedback other than not being able to proceed, which is a huge bonus.
Simplex Spelling HD has over 30 word lists, so your kids will find no shortage of practice here! Overall, an awesome app for any parent looking to teach a child with autism some spelling skills!