The Social Express: Social Story Application You’ve Been Dreaming About

Autism App: The Social Expressautism app the social express

Developer: The Language Express, Inc.

Platform: iPad/(English)

Price: Free app requires a paid monthly or yearly subscription The Social Express Home – The Language Express, Inc

Category: Social Story Apps


The Social Express Takes Kids Through Social Situations With Ease!

One of the things that might stand out about The Social Express app for iPad is the price tag – at a whopping $89.99, this app isn’t something that you purchase without researching.  Having used the autism app and experienced it for myself, I can assure you that the program is worth the cost if you have a child who needs to build effective social skills!

The Social Express app is full of beautifully detailed animations which take users through countless different social situations.  All the while, the app shows them the proper responses and allows kids to test their social knowledge by helping the characters make good choices!

It’s really an engaging app, and kids with autism will not only receive great benefits from the program – they’ll love using it too!


What Exactly Is The Social Express?


social story autism app


The best way for you to understand how The Social Express is different from other apps is for me to describe the gameplay.

The majority of the extensive content in the app (it’s a huge file to download – took my iPad a few minutes) is animations.  These animations are all stored within different lessons, which take the animations and add interactive elements to them.

After watching a social situation, users will need to identify the issue(s) and select a proper method for dealing with the problem.

The main menu has a few options: – Play Lessons, Printables, and The Social Express Guide.


Play Lessons


social story ipad app


This is the most important button in the application – clicking on the “Play Lessons” option will bring you to a page where you can navigate among the different lessons and select which one you would like to play.

The Social Express offers two skill levels, 1 and 2.  I would recommend staying on skill level 1 for the time being, and then switching later if your child seems to be understanding things at a reasonable level.


Autism App Printables


The Printables section could be very helpful if kids identify well with the characters in the application, and it could also become a source of motivation for users to play the app!  From this screen, you can print out pages about feelings, coping strategies, or achievements that you’ve unlocked by completing different lessons!


The Social Express Guide


The Social Express Guide is a good place to go if, for some reason, you get confused.  The Guide has a section on how to use the software, gives some lesson information, and has the developer’s credits.

Hopefully I’ll explain the application well enough that you rarely need to visit the guide, but it’s there if you need it!  :)


Gameplay & Social Story Animations Within The Social Express


When you start the very first lesson, you’ll learn that each of the characters have what is called a Digital Problem Solver – DPS for short.  (This is a gadget that looks like an iDevice.)  It becomes an integral part of the application!  Children within the animations will use it to identify their feelings, giving kids with autism the chance to help the characters select a coping method!


autism ipad app


An example: If Zach (one of the boys in the game) selects the emotion “Mad” on his DPS, kids can help him out by selecting either “Nice Words” or a different coping strategy that may be available in the specific situation.

There are also two important kinds of “Tips” that The Social Express provides within Gameplay – Teaching Tips and Hidden Social Keys.


Teaching Tips


When Teaching Tips first started showing up in the animations of The Social Express, I tagged them as annoying.  But, after using the app for a while, I really understood the HUGE benefit of these tips.  The truth is, I would strongly encourage you to leave them activated, since they really help parents and teachers ensure that their kids are getting the most out of the application.

The Teaching Tips will prompt parents to ask their kids certain questions about the situation before the app does, which helps to reinforce the concepts being taught.

As a side note, I strongly recommend that parents or teachers are present when kids are working with The Social Express, since the Teaching Tips offer a whole new level of learning possibilities.  In addition, by asking your kids questions, you will help build their communication skills!


Hidden Social Keys


Hidden Social Keys are also an important part of The Social Express.  These Keys are basically tips that help the user answer questions correctly.

For example, the first lesson of the app is one that emphasizes the idea that people look at what they’re thinking about.  The Hidden Social Key encourages kids with autism to use their eyes and determine what someone is thinking by figuring out what that person is looking at.  Great idea, huh?


The Social Express In A Nutshell


The Social Express app provides a safe environment for individuals with autism and other social learning challenges to practice their social skills.


Want to Get This App from iTunes?


The Social Express Home – The Language Express, Inc


GIVEAWAY – Want to Win This App?


Would you like to win a promo code for The Social Express? We have One (1) code to give away to a lucky API reader!

Please enter using the widget below. We will email the winner at the end of the contest. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide. To claim the prize, winner must have a valid iTunes account. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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15 Responses to The Social Express: Social Story Application You’ve Been Dreaming About

  1. […] example, at the top of the social story, there is a descriptor that talks about the situation from the child’s point of view.  Then, in the picture, there are message boxes (thought and speech bubbles) above the […]

  2. samantha bodde (@SPANGLERMOMMY) on April 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    we really like speech box app

  3. Walt Nickell on April 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    These giveaways are great, but I really appreciate the reviews and insights even more.

  4. Janice on April 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks…great app!

  5. April M. on April 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Lately my girls are really into Max’s Playroom and the Speech with Milo apps

  6. julie on April 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Would love to win this one for my classroom. I have looked at the app but a little expensive for me.

  7. Sarah Erhart on April 2, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    We really like the FizzBrian Touch and Write cursive app.

  8. Wendy L on April 3, 2013 at 9:28 am

    My son (and I) are big fans of Injini and Ready to Print.

  9. Dianne on April 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Letter School and Ready to Print come to mind first. :)

  10. Erin A on April 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!! I love this app and would love to use it with my daughter who has so many social issues.

  11. Erin A on April 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!! I love this app and would love to use it with my daughter who has so many social issues.

  12. susie on April 19, 2013 at 12:34 am

    we would love this app. our son has finally started showing an interst in socializing but doesn’t know how to do so.

  13. Erin A on April 24, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Who won??? 😀

    • Jack Kieffer on April 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

      We have a winner … please congratulate Tiffany P.! :)

  14. Lisa Hess on March 29, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I really like this app but as a new SLP graduate, have little budget for apps & materials. It would be great if we could purchase and download new lessons as we need them, rather than having to lay out $90 all at once. Is this a possibility?

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Who’s Behind Autism Plugged In?

Who’s Behind Autism Plugged In?

My name is Jack Kieffer and I'm a blogger sharing my love of technology at blogs like Cool Gizmo Toys, Greenamajigger, and here at Autism Plugged In where I'm trying to make a difference in the lives of children with autism.

Several years ago, I began volunteering with special needs kids, who gave me much joy and an appreciation for life. This blog is my way of giving back. Any proceeds from this effort are used to support my friends with autism. Read more about Jack or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.