Star Wars Scene Maker

“Star Wars Scene Maker” is developed by Disney. It is free to download and does contain in-app purchases. It is compatible with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch and requires iOS 7.0 or later.

Star Wars Day SALE – Up to 50% off – Limited Time Only

**Star Wars Scene Maker was selected for the App Store Best of 2014 and for the “Best Creative Fun Award” at the 2014 Tillywig Toy & Media Awards: “an extravaganza of fun”**

Charge into battle with Master Yoda and the Wookiees at your side in the one of the most legendary conflicts of the Clone Wars with the all-new Battle of Kashyyyk Pack!

• Includes the Kashyyyk Tree Top Command Center Environment
• All-new characters: Yoda, Chewbacca, Commander Gree, and Kashyyyk Clone Trooper!
• 3 additional music tracks!

Create your own Star Wars scenes! First, choose your setting, then add your favorite characters and weapons! You control all the action, add the dialogue, and choose the music! When you’re ready, record and share your Star Wars masterpiece with friends!


• Now includes six (6) Star Wars Worlds to choose from: Death Star Attack, Endor, Cloud City Duel, Theed Generator Duel, Geonosis Asteroid Battle, and the Battle of Kashyyyk!
• Create your own Star Wars scenes and bring them to life with imaginative interactivity and open-ended play!
• Start exploring the possibilities right away with one free scene pack!
• Select from 3D models of all of your favorite Star Wars characters, weapons, and ships.
• Use dialogue straight from the Star Wars films, or put words into any character’s mouth by recording your voice and applying a Darth Vader, Rebel Pilot, or Stormtrooper filter!
• Use up to three cameras to track the action and record your scene from multiple angles!
• Choose a musical score from the Star Wars films, write your own iconic Star Wars “Title Crawl” and end credits, and share your finished scene with friends!

If you’re experiencing difficulties with audio, please check the audio settings within your device and if your device is muted. Don’t hesitate to contact customer care at 877-662-3769 or

Before you download this experience, please consider that this app contains in-app purchases that cost real money, as well as advertising for the The Walt Disney Family of Companies.

iPhone/iPod Link: Star Wars Scene Maker – Disney

iPad Link: Star Wars Scene Maker – Disney

Source: Smart Apps For Kids


8 Helpful Tips for Understanding an ADHD Child or Puppy

1. A young ADHD child or a puppy share the challenge of keeping their attention on their activity. They are most comfortable in an ordered, predictable environment.

2. Invite and nurture a relationship/friendship with the student’s parents or teachers or the puppy’s owners. This is a valuable investment of time.

3. Make a simple chart to help you recognize behavior patterns. You should record their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and dislikes. It also offers you hints of possible reasons for negative behaviors.

4. Watch for the slightest improvement in the child’s/puppy’s behavior. Never skimp on praise! Reward each repetition of desired skills or behavior.

5. A task list or instructions need to be spoken in short phrases. Don’t use wordy descriptions.

6. I always say that the most effective caregiver has loads of “tricks up their sleeves”. Present your goal for them in various visual and auditory manners.

6. Transitional times bring changes that may produce negative behavorial responses. Be ready to divert their attention to something pleasant before a meltdown may occur. Stay a “step ahead” of them. Be proactive!

7. Be aware of sensory triggers that may effect a child’s or puppy’s behavior. These triggers may include the fluorescent lights, noises, clothing, shoes, odors, or foods.

8. As caregivers discover their child’s/pup’s learning styles, they should organize their solutions and “problem-solving tricks” in a visible place.

ADHD Treatment

ADHD Treatment

ADHD Treatment by Eytan Shleizer is designed for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This app is all about waiting until the right moment. On Level 1, a green square appears and you have to wait for it to change colors before you press the button with a checkmark. If you wait until it changes the red, you can continue with the game. The square will continue to change colors until you have clicked the checkmark ten times. Then, on Level 2, the game changes slightly and you have to wait until the shape changes location on the screen. On Level 3, you click the checkmark every time any change occurs. The shape, color, or location can change, or any combination of the three. On Level 4, you tap the checkmark every time a change occurs, except for when it is red. There are more levels but I haven’t gotten to them yet! It costs $9.99 to download and there are no in-app purchases. It is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), and iPad.

15 Tips for Teaching an ADHD Child or a Puppy

The following teaching tips point the way to success at home or in class. Patience, consistency, and time are your secret tools to engage your challenging students.

1. Understand the attention challenge that an ADHD child or a puppy has and provide a structured, predictable environment.

2. Establish a relationship/friendship with the student’s parents or the puppy’s owners. Learn what teaching/training techniques the parents have successfully or unsuccessfully practiced.

3. Be aware of sensory triggers that may effect a child’s or puppy’s behavior. These triggers may include the fluorescent lights, noises, clothing, shoes, odors, or foods.

4. Use a consistent reminder prompt with your students to signal the “stay focussed” message. Children and puppies respond well to sign language.

5. Lessons need to have rules that are clearly understood by students/puppies and caregivers. Explain any consequences for breaking the rules. Provide printouts of these rules and consequences for everyone involved.

6. Encourage caregivers to be very watchful for the slightest improvement in their child’s/puppy’s behavior. Never skimp on praise, and reward each repetition of desired skills.

7. Give clear, brief directions in simple, concrete terms. Each step needs to be mastered before introducing the next step.

8. Lessons should be divided into short sessions with short breaks in between.

9. Remember that many households have two working parents. “Home exercises” should simply practice what has already been taught.

10. Occasionally bring in an older student or more mature, obedient dog to support you with one-on-one modeling behavior.

11. A teacher/trainer’s physical presence is vital so be sure to stay close by your student. Giving an ADHD child an encouraging rub on the back, a high-five, or a

pat on puppy’s head is powerful.

12. Linking an event or activity with special clothing or accessory is very effective to improved attention and performance. For example, a change of clothes (like a school uniform), a special hat, or a specific doggy vest or collar form strong associations that it is time for a specific activity.

13. Fidget or chewable objects for the ADHD child or puppy during break times can significantly improve their ability to remain on task.

14. Provide a walk area or free play area where a student or puppy can “air out” their brains for a few minutes.

15. Provide a “chill” quiet area for the ADHD child or puppy to go when they have a sensory overload challenge.

“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” — Dr. James P. Comer

Think “outside the box” like your kid

Following a child-initiated interest is the fastest “ticket to success” that I know for teaching a child anything.  During the most surprising fun activities, a child can be “slipped”  customized learning material  almost unknowingly IF initially time is taken to watch and see what is important to them. Here are some helpful techniques that I work into a plan of getting a child’s attention:

  • Work with them initially one-on-one. Working side by side and encouraging them builds trust and confidence. A little investment of your time with them to get the “brain moving” helps to set our young creative thinkers on the right path.  After a while, you can leave them with a project for a short time knowing they are “on a roll”.  This tip applies to a spelling word list or setting the table for dinner.  Having pets that you both care for together is another great opportunity to work together and talk about their interests.
  • If a specific skill needs to be addressed and the child’s interest or cooperation is just “not there”, move outside of the immediate work challenge to find interests that indirectly relate to the task at hand.  For example, take a fresh air walk around a track or building or pick some flowers (or weeds) to put in a vase.  Going outside really works with some kids to clear the mind. Take the time to discuss topics that arise from this time and that may include the skill/subject that needs mastering.  Then show how the need to learn what needs to be learned will bring the child to the expertise of being able to follow through on their “real” interests.
  •  Example: Dr Ben Epstein learned his math, and used it to go on to more exciting, creative projects, like putting microphones on the belly of a cockroach to help find people lost in earthquakes or tsunamis.

Now THAT’S thinking outside the box, isn’t it !

Temple Grandin: Autistic Children Plus

Dr Temple Grandin,Jeannie Bolstridge, and Max the therapy dog

I spoke briefly to Dr. Temple Grandin at a professional dog training conference in Atlanta, Ga several years ago. She offers sound advice to parents of children with not only autism but also very accurate help for ADD/ADHD continuum and other special needs children.  I’ve posted some of her helpful tips  taken from the Autism Research Institute website. The following bulleted tips are all direct quotes from Dr. Grandin, taken from the article linked above  except for my explanatory remarks in brackets. If you’d rather listen to Dr. Temple speak about these points, she covers much of the below on her YouTube Videos.

Sound and Visual Sensitivity

  • Hearing tests indicated that my hearing was normal. I can’t modulate incoming auditory stimulation. I discovered that I could shut out painful sounds by engaging in rhythmic stereotypical autistic behavior [or manipulating something in my hands]. Sometimes I “tune out”. For example, I will be listening to a favorite song on the car radio and then later realize that I tuned out and missed half of the song. In college, I had to constantly take notes to prevent tuning out.
  •   An autistic child will cover his or her ears because certain sounds hurt. It is like an excessive startle reaction. A sudden noise (even a relatively faint one) will often make my heart race.
  •  I can shut down my hearing and withdraw from most noise, but certain frequencies cannot be shut out. It is impossible for an autistic child to concentrate in a classroom if he or she is bombarded with noises. High-pitched, shrill noises are the worst. A low rumble has no affect…..
  • The fear of a noise that hurts the ears is often the cause of many bad behaviors and tantrums. Some autistic children will attempt to break the telephone because they are afraid it will ring. Many bad behaviors are triggered due to anticipation of being subjected to a painful noise. The bad behaviors can occur hours before the noise. Common noises that cause discomfort in many autistic individuals are school bells, fire alarms, score board buzzers in the gym, squealing microphone feedback and chairs scraping on the floor.  Autistic children and adults may fear dogs or babies because barking dogs or crying babies may hurt their ears. Dogs and babies are unpredictable, and they can make a hurtful noise without warning.
  •  Children with less severe auditory sensitivity problems may be attracted to sound and visual stimuli that more severely impaired children tend to avoid. I liked the sound of flowing water and enjoyed pouring water back and forth between orange juice cans; whereas another child may avoid the sound of flowing water.
  •  Some autistic individuals can see the flicker of florescent lights.

Tactile and Sensory Experiences and Problems

  • I believe that the beneficial effects of holding in some children are due to desensitization to touch of the autistic child’s nervous system. It is not the “cure” that some of its proponents tout, but it has a beneficial affect on some children.
  • I wanted to feel the comforting feeling of being held, but then when somebody held me, the effect on my nervous system was overwhelming…..and confusing.
  • The sensory activities are done gently as fun games and are never forced. Strong encouragement and some intrusiveness may be used, but a good therapist knows how far he or she can intrude before the stimulation becomes so overwhelming that the child starts crying. Even intrusive activities are kept fun. During the activities, the therapist will also work on improving speech and establishing eye contact.
  • Ray et al. (1988) found that a mute child will often start making speech sounds while he or she is swinging in a swing. Swinging stimulates the vestibular system and the defective cerebellum.
  •  Spinning in a chair twice a week helps to reduce hyperactivity (Bhatara et al. 1981)
  •  non-contingent vibration will reduce stereotypical behavior (Murphy 1982).
  • Research has also shown that vigorous aerobic exercise reduced maladaptive and stereotypic behavior (Elliot et al. 1994).
  • Many autistic [and ADHD] children will seek deep pressure. Many parents have told me that their children get under the sofa cushions or mattress. A slow, steady application of pressure had a calming affect on me….Good results can often be obtained with less than an hour of sensory treatment per day. Spending hours and hours each day is not required.The effectiveness of sensory treatment will vary from child to child.
  •  It is important to desensitize an autistic child so that he/she can tolerate comforting touch.  I learned how to pet our cat more gently after I [gradually learned to tolerate the deep pressure stimulation].

Cognitive Considerations

  •  In autism, the systems that process visual-spatial problems are intact. There is a possibility that these systems may be expanded to compensate for deficits in language. The nervous system has remarkable plasticity; one part can take over and compensate for deficits in language.
  • [Thinking in language and words is one category of cognition.]   Brain scans have revealed that some of the circuits between the frontal cortex and amygdala are not functioning normally (Haznader et al., 1997). This may force a person with autism to use intellect and logic to make social decisions instead of [observing and interpreting] emotion cues.
  • [Thinking in pictures is another category of cognition.]  I think totally in pictures. It is like playing different tapes in a video cassette recorder in my imagination. I used to think that everybody thought in pictures until I questioned many different people about their thinking processes.  This method of thinking is slower. It takes time to “play” the videotape in my imagination.
  • Written language is easier to understand than [a long string of]verbal language. Word processors should be introduced early to encourage writing. Typing is often easier than hand writing [because of small motor skills challenges].
  • I screamed because it was the only way I could communicate. When adults spoke directly to me, I could understand everything they said…. I had the words I wanted to say in my mind, but I just could not get them out….. When my mother wanted me to do something, I often screamed. If something bothered me, I screamed. This was the only way I could express my displeasure. If I did not want to wear a hat, the only way I could communicate my desire not to wear the hat was to throw it on the floor and scream.   Being unable to talk was utter frustration.  [However,] some children with more severe sensory problems may withdraw further because the intrusion completely overloads their immature nervous system. They will often respond best to gentler teaching methods such as whispering softly to the child in a room free of florescent lights and visual distractions.
  • The speech therapist had to put me in a slight stress state so I could get the words out. She would gently hold me by the chin and make me look at her and then ask me to make certain sounds. She knew just how much to intrude. If she pushed too hard, I would have a tantrum; if she did not push enough, there was no progress. During recent visits to autism programs, I have observed this technique being used in many different types of programs. When I started to speak, my words were stressed with an emphasis on vowel sounds. For example, “bah” for ball. My speech therapist stretched out the hard consonant sounds to help my brain to perceive them. She would hold up a cup and say “ccc u ppp.” Vowels are easier to hear than consonants.
  • [When teaching some children with ADHD or Autism, observe if their minds are MONO-CHANNELS.  Dr. Grandin uses the following example with her friend Donna to explain this as follows:]  If Donna is listening to somebody talk, she is unable to perceive a cat jumping up on her lap. If she attends to the cat, then speech perception is blocked. She realized a black thing was on her lap, but she did not recognize it as a cat until she stopped listening to her friend talk.


  • Teachers, therapists and other professionals who work with [ADHD or ] autistic people need to recognize and treat sensory processing problems…. At ages two to four, many autistic children will probably respond well to gently intrusive programs where the child is required to maintain eye contact with the teacher. Lovaas (1987) has documented that roughly half of young children will improve sufficiently so they can be enrolled in a normal first grade at age six or seven. It is likely that the children who did not improve in the Lovaas program were experiencing sensory overload. They may respond better to a gentler approach using only one sensory channel at a time.


Temple Grandin: “We must push these kids or they won’t develop.”

This quote from Temple Grandin provides the very basic framework for a teaching and social learning approach for children with autism.  I spoke a little bit about this quote with her personally, and she credits much of her academic and personal success to the structured upbringing her Mom provided for her.  Autistic children are “bottom-up” or “inside-outside” processors.  As educators and parents of these kids, we need to see  through their eyes in the following ways when introducing an experience or a project:

  •  first,  observe all of the details and possible environmental stimuli
  • next, pick out component pieces of the big picture and see if learning this particular piece is acceptable to them*, working in small steps (that is, taking small component details of the big picture of your project or experience one at a time)
  • *learning only works when there is interest, so follow the child’s lead to find the detail (component piece) that they most enjoy and then expand our lessons around that piece
  • lastly, your primary goal is to construct the big picture
  • your secondary goal, just as important, is to generalize the big picture

Are some Developmental Delays Temporary ?

Today I’m reporting about a 9 year old sweet child with autism.  After being written into this child’s IEP for two years, I’ve followed through by weekly after-school sessions. It is evidenced by teachers and family that this child has made social and academic progress. So what if development is slower than “normal”  in an autistic child who is “developmentally delayed”.  A delay is not a “no go” just as a autism is not cancer.  I’m a  believer that kids with developmental delays need gentle, consistent interventions during all of their young waking hours and with a little patience and support from us all they will surprise us ! Please enjoy reading the brief but thought-provoking article from a recent Time magazine below.

Time Magazine article "Aging out of Autism" 02-04-2013

How could WiFi Phones help SN Kids during school?

If your special needs child is using an Android mp3 player or an iPod as an assistive technology device, there may be a need for your child to quickly connect to you or any support person in their lives. Your child will probably be in an environment where there is WiFi, and as part of their approved usage of the AT device,  the facility should give you  a WiFi password. This password put into your child’s device will enable their “non-phone” to become a phone or texting device. I’ve tried these apps and found them to be very reliable for this purpose. I still have more to learn about Google Voice and will update this post when I can present a step-by-step tutorial.

Google Voice for Android or Google Voice for iPhone

Sharing from Tammy

“The Sensory Friendly Center was very beneficial to my student’s learning success. Because of my students being able to be a part of this program, several of them who were struggling were promoted to the next grade due to the center’s great volunteers.”

Tammy Slaven

First Grade

Ben Hill Primary School