Feedback from families that use our platform is fundamental to us, that’s why we have interviewed Fares Kemeli, Emmanuel’s dad, an 8-year-old school boy.
Who uses Smile and Learn in your family? Do they like it?
My 8-year-old son who has ASD, is not only excited about using the application but it also helps him to learn about emotions, his body and other things. After playing, he comes and shares with us the new things he’s learned, and the application is helping us chat with him. He also learns new words that he uses and repeats.
As a dad, which would you say are the strengths of the platform?
Being a SEN learner, tablets and digital environments have been part of his education/schooling since a very young age. I’ve always been watchful about the applications he’s using on both of his devices (tablet and mobile) limiting usage time and the games he could have access to, same as the content he would work with. But with Smile and Learn there’s nothing to worry about. It’s limitless and falls into his usage time slots.
Which is his favorite game?
He loves the stories, the universe and the human body apps (among others). As for your new games, he’s started looking at The Planets, Animatrix and Emotions. He also enjoys listening English and from time to time, he answers our questions in English.
What would you add to the platform?
Avatar customization could offer more options. I would also draw more attention to real-life concepts for children like paying with money, asking or giving directions, answering questions about his age, address or the names of his parents, the things that make him happy etc. The sort of activities that help teachers and parents to tackle those “trivial things” we usually take for granted.
Do you feel the platform is well adapted?
It’s remarkably well adapted. I think there’s room for improvement regarding the content that applies to really young children, I can assure you that many schools, ASD associations, Down Syndrome and learners with other special needs use Smile and Learn as support tool in class and at home. This is how I started using it a year ago.
I’d like to add that your application plays an outstanding part in improving education for children with special needs; for us, as a family, this application has been life changing. We can help our son with support learning tasks like games and offline elements, so that he can continue his learning online. More specifically, Emmanuel’s speaking and language skills, and also his body awareness have drastically improved thanks to Smile and Learn.