Also known as… What…I Knew I Could Do It!
Earlier this summer, I was blessed enough to receive a copy of Super Duper Inc.’s HearBuilder Following Directions CD. My life (well…okay, THERAPY life) has not been the same.
Now we’re going to get to the nitty-gritty of the software.
I was impressed with the software from the get-go. I had a bit of difficulty with figuring out how the reward game worked, but eventually (and after Super Duper explained it) I realized I was making it WAY harder than it needed to be…(and I do mean WAY harder!). The only good thing about this is the student was just as confused as I was!
I loved being able to adjust the settings enough to allow/not allow repetitions and to have/not have background noise. I will say, I most definitely LOVE the option of the background noise. It is exactly like a busy lower elementary classroom. Very appropriate for helping students learn how to deal with those auditory distractions.
I chose two students to trial the software. The first student is one that I’ve been seeing for a few years with a phonological impairment. In the past, following directions has chosen to be difficult for him, so I thought he was a perfect candidate. The first few sessions, he was performing right about 85-90%. So I turned on the background noise. His scores dropped a bit (down to 75%) for two sessions and then picked right back up. I noticed he had a slight difficulty with some of the temporal and conditional directions. You know, those “before you do this… do this” and the “if there’s a … do this…” directions. We took a break from the software for a bit, worked on those concepts … and… the next time we worked on the software he scored 100%…and the next time…and the 3rd time. I was ecstatic! He was ecstatic!
The next client I chose to trial was a 7 year old girl. Unlike the first student, she was fairly new to me and I wasn’t sure how she would do with the software. Wow…what a difference. We started with the first part, Following Basic Directions, and she did great…went through the first few levels with absolutely no problem. Then I put the background noise on. WOW!
She dropped from a 100% average without background noise to 40% with background noise. I’m relatively certain the ones she did get right were lucky clicks.
So…I turned the background noise off and we went to the next area – Sequential directions. I expected she’d have a bit of a problem here…and I was absolutely right. She was routinely only able to get about 60-70% without the background noise. Just for the trial, I put the background noise on and she dropped to 0%. She simply could not do it.
So… we worked on following directions games in therapy, online, and with the HearBuilder software. We started with simple basic two-step directions then moved to three-step directions. Then we worked on sequential directions; again working on two-step then going to three-step directions. When she started getting up to 90% scores on the software, I turned the background noise on.
With the background noise on Following Basic Directions, she went from a 40% to a solid 90%. With Sequential Directions, she went from 0% with background noise to 70% with background noise. Obviously she still has a way to go, but it’s a definite improvement.
As of right now we haven’t targeted the more complex directions (quantitative/spatial, temporal, conditional). I expect that we will have a similar learning curve with them. I’m very excited to see how this student has already started to benefit from this software!
All in all…This software gets an excited two-thumbs up from me. The games are fun. The kids love “earning” the tools and making toys… and it really helps them learn! HearBuilder Following Directions is definitely a boost to the therapy tool kit.
I can’t wait to try the other CDs! I’m just not sure how I’ll be able to choose between Phonological Awareness and Sequences!
I’d love to hear your thoughts about which software I should requisition next…Or if you’ve used any of the three (Following Directions, Phono Awareness, Sequences) what did you think of them?
Until then…Adventure On!