Goally, Autism, and routines
As the mom of a severely autistic child, I wish for Charlie to be more independent. We’ve been working on self-care skills for years and though he’s getting the hang of some, it’s still a struggle. Charlie recently learned how to get dressed, brush his teeth, and put on his shoes with minimal help. The struggle, though, is to keep him motivated to do these things on his own.
We have a visual schedule app on his ipad, a hoard of reinforcers ready to be handed out, and we also have used a token board. All of these work to a certain extent but they’re not always convenient. I recently stumbled upon a little ABA device called Goally, an electronic visual schedule.
As the parent, I love that I can have everything in one place. It’s more effective and I’m a lot less likely to lose this device than a visual schedule on a piece of cardboard. Charlie always seems to learn better with technology too. For instance, he never really took to PECS, but as soon as we got ProLoQuo on his iPad, he started using it to communicate basic needs.
Goally, a must-have ABA device
If your kiddo is in ABA therapy, or even OT, you’re probably familiar with visual schedules. Charlie is a visual learner so it’s been helpful for us. Goally is easy to use. It’s intuitive and you set up everything from an app on your phone. It’s fully customizable to your child’s needs. If you have questions or run into any issues, they have a stellar team to help you get going. Goally users also have access to behavior therapists via phone and email to help make Goally work best for their family.
Electronic visual schedule for morning routine
Here’s what Charlie’s morning routine looks like after I set it up in the parent’s app:
Get Dressed: 10 minutes
Eat Breakfast: 20 minutes
Brush Teeth: 4 minutes
Put on Shoes: 4 minutes
iPad Time: 15 minutes
When Charlie’s done with one task, he simply clicks on the “done” icon, and it takes him to the next screen where a new timer begins. Once again, everything is customizable, so if your child doesn’t like the visual timer, you can remove it. Charlie loves the visual of it so we kept it.
Electronic reward system
There’s a reward system incorporated into the app so when your child completes a routine successfully, he gets points. You can customize the number of points, as well as the rewards. While Charlie doesn’t grasp the points system yet, he understands that completing his routine with Goally gets him a reward, and that in itself is very helpful for us.
I’m part of the Goally Facebook group, and it’s amazing to see how much it’s helped these families. Parents use it with their older kids for all sorts of things, like chore schedules even.
I think Goally has the potential to help a lot of families, especially if kiddos are a bit higher functioning than Charlie and they understand the point system. It becomes like a fun little game.
See how proud of himself he is brushing his teeth and putting on his shoes with help from his Goally?
Check out Goally here