Inside KidConnect

A simple route to making connections

The KidConnect™ App allows students to take a simple, intuitive, step-by-step route through their behavior and its cause. The route begins with asking the student why they have been asked to use The KidConnect App. Their choice is between heard behaviors and seen behaviors. From there, the student chooses what behavior they think they were displaying, then in what class they were behaving that way.

Next, the student is asked to describe in his/her own words what he/she was supposed to be doing, and then what he/she was actually doing. This is followed by an area for saying why they think they were behaving that way and then associating a feeling with that reason selected from the animated options.

The final step is to choose a strategy for the next time that he/she feels that way.  The student is then provided a summary of their answers in a simple-to-read paragraph to help them solidify their understanding. When they click finish, the app requests the teacher’s pin again in order to navigate anywhere else so that the student can get back to the task at hand.

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An iPad showing a screenshot of the KidConnect App™ uses animated characters to display feelings and behaviors.

Animated characters for relatable emotions

Like all people, students with Complex Global Disabilities show and feel a wide range of feelings and emotions. However, these students tend to have difficulty identifying and labeling these emotions. Subtle differences between emotions like anger, frustration, embarrassment, and annoyance may be difficult to impossible for these students to recognize.

Additionally, it can be very hard for these kids to think about or view themselves displaying behaviors that they know are “bad” or “inappropriate.”

For this reason, the KidConnect App uses animated characters to display feelings and behaviors. This gives kids a non-threatening way to examine these emotions and to pick them based on what they look and feel like. When they walk through an incident, they can view a variety of feelings and behaviors and pick those that best relate to what happened.

The characters help them to label feelings and to tie them directly to the way they behave.

Specific strategies decrease future incidents

Changing behavior is a process. Eliminating behaviors is extremely difficult if those behaviors aren’t replaced with something else. The KidConnect App helps students learn new behaviors that replace the maladaptive ones they have relied on to date. The new strategies aren’t simply designed to make the classroom run more smoothly, they are designed to help the student feel better.

This is why The KidConnect App works and helps kids grow and learn over time. When kids learn that they can influence their own emotions using productive strategies, they feel better and thus become more and more willing to try new strategies.

The KidConnect App provides teachers with the ability to fully customize the strategies they offer their students. The app will suggest a number of initial strategies, such as “talk it out with an adult,” “do something active,” “or “move to another area of the classroom.” From there, teachers can choose from those strategies offered or add custom strategies they feel are appropriate.

Teachers can integrate the strategies used into a child’s existing behavioral plan and individualized education plan for enhanced consistency between the therapy room and the classroom.

A screenshot of an iPad showing how The KidConnect App™ provides teachers with the ability to fully customize the strategies they offer their students.
A screenshot showing how the KidConnect App™ allows for teachers to take custom videos and photos and add them as options within the behaviors that students can select from.

Videos and photos personalize the student’s experience

While some students may not be ready to face their behaviors head-on through video or photo records, others may benefit greatly from the ability to see first-hand how their behaviors affect their environment and get reminders of what those behaviors look like.1 This can be a particularly useful strategy for behaviors that are established habits for a student and occur often. Processing these specific behaviors with careful attention to the feelings associated with them can help these students begin to change.2

The KidConnect App allows for teachers to take custom videos and photos and add them as options within the behaviors that students can select from. This is an important tool for self-reflection and understanding, while it eliminates the need for a great deal of debate and discussion in the classroom.

Student Data

In order to track improvements and progress, accurate data collection and analysis are critical. The KidConnect App is designed to collect data quickly and easily in real time so as not to create additional work for staff.

The app then stores, compiles, and presents your students’ data in a useful chart, providing performance benchmarking and allowing for integration into a student’s behavioral plan and individualized education plan.

Teachers can also share KidConnect App student data with colleagues, administrators, and families via email as appropriate.

A screenshot showing how the KidConnect App™ is designed to collect data quickly and easily in real time so as not to create additional work for staff.