Pick of the Week: Tiggly Shapes (with Free Shipping!)

We’re really excited to share Tiggly Shapes with you: the first interactive iPad toy designed for toddlers. You have to see it to believe how cool and versatile this new product is.

Tiggly Shapes combines the essential educational benefits of physical play with the learning potential and fun of the iPad. This simple set of four geometric shapes interacts with three free apps to create an ideal learning environment for children. Tiggly Shapes melds the best of what the digital world has to offer with the developmental importance of manipulative play in toddlers and preschoolers.

Our Board Certified Behavior Analyst Sam Blanco just put together a review for Tiggly and how she uses it with her students. Read it in full here.

This week only, we’re offering FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING on Tiggly Shapes. Just enter the Promo Code TIGGLY at checkout and simply select FREE UPS or USPS Shipping. This makes a perfect holiday gift for the child in your life.

Seventy years of academic research has demonstrated that manipulating physical objects is essential to early childhood development. Tiggly enables parents to bring this critical component of early learning to the “digital sandbox” today’s kids inhabit. The product consists of a simple triangle, circle, square, and star that become interactive when used with the three Tiggly apps to create a robust learning experience.

Tiggly Shapes and apps are designed for children ages 18 months to 4 years old.

The Apps, available for free on iTunes, are:

Tiggly Safari
Use the shapes to construct friendly and adorable animals for the jungle, farm and sea.

Tiggly Safari Screenshot Learn basic shapes with Tiggly Safari!






Tiggly Stamp
This app has a great voice record and camera option that allows you to create an image, tell a story and record it. Use the shapes in this app to build seasonally-themed scenes using everything from jack-o’-lanterns to igloos.

Create animals, fruit, and other characters with Tiggly Shapes.Create a story with Tiggly Shapes and Stamps!






Tiggly Draw
Channel your inner artist and use the tablet as a blank canvas to create your masterpiece.

Tiggly Draw Screenshot

Exercise creativity by taking and saving photos!






Remember, this week only, get free domestic shipping on your order of Tiggly Shapes when you enter in the promo code TIGGLY at checkout!

**Offer expires 12/17/13 at 11:59pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces in the promo code at checkout!

Tip of the Week: Use Your Smartphone as a Photo Journal

Your smartphone just may be an untapped resource in working on skills with your learner. There are several apps out there that allow you to record audio over photos or type text over photos, and many of them are free.

While there are many similar apps out there, I prefer the app Over for adding text to photos because it’s easy to use, offers a variety of fonts, and allows you to move the text to different parts of the pictures ($1.99 in the iTunes store).


For adding audio to videos or photos, I love Shuttersong (free in the iTunes store). This video illustrates how easy it is to use.


You can use these apps to help your learner with a variety of communication and cognitive skills.


  • The apps can be used to help your learner identify people who were engaged in the activity with you. For example, if you take a trip to a petting zoo, you can take photos of the people who went with you. Depending on the level of your learner, this could involve naming the person pictured, discussing what animals were that person’s favorite, or describing things that person did or felt during the trip.
  • Apps can also be used to allow your learner to write or record a statement describing what happened. This can be done in the moment or later for the learner to practice recall.
  • You can print the pictures or save them to a document on your computer or tablet. Your learner can then put them in sequential order and tell you about his/her day.
  • If the learner is working on recall skills with other teachers/adults, you can provide the images to them so they can provide prompts to your learner as needed.


  • Allows you to provide visual prompts for your learner to aid in recalling recent events.
  • If your learners is highly motivated by using the cell phone, this can be a great way to get him/her involved in conversation related to activities you’ve participated in as a family or class.
  • It provides a functional use of the smartphone for your learner.




New App for Teaching Language to Children with Autism is Now Available!

 New York, NY, March 5, 2012 – Different Roads to Learning, Inc., a global retailer of educational products for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities, today announced the launch of Tell Me About It! Learning Language by Receptive Function, Feature & Category, an iPhone/iPad app for developing early language skills.

This app uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a systematic teaching approach that involves breaking down skills into small, easy-to-learn steps. ABA is the only evidence-based effective intervention treatment for Autism endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the United States Surgeon General.  The Tell Me About It! App is now available for $9.99 at itunes.

“A new wave of educational apps has been on the rise since the iPad first launched; now, they are more efficient and visually stimulating than ever. These apps are especially pertinent in the early education of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We are pleased to develop the Tell Me About It! App, which covers the basic foundations of language for children diagnosed with Autism. Our Tell Me About It! App for the iPhone and iPad allows parents and professionals to apply ABA in any setting,” said Julie Azuma, CEO of Different Roads to Learning, Inc., which she founded in 1995 after her daughter was diagnosed with Autism.

“Mimicking an actual one-on-one instructional session with a therapist, the app utilizes Discrete Trial Teaching, a method of teaching students with Autism and other language or developmental delays by breaking skills into the smallest possible steps, teaching each step intensively until its mastered, providing repetition, prompting incorrect responses, and using positive reinforcement. It’s like having a personal tutor at your fingertips,” said Abigail Schlaifer, VP Sales & Marketing.  She added, “Teachers, parents, and psychologists can delve into the Teacher’s Console to control the difficulty settings for each student, and will appreciate the Student Report Card, which displays data for each student with an option to email results.”

About the Development of the Tell Me About It! App

The concept for this app was developed by Stacy Asay, LMSW, and Abigail Schlaifer for Different Roads to Learning and created by Infusion, which combines expert software engineering with appealing user experiences.

Different Roads to Learning was one of ten small businesses selected for the CEO-UBS Small Business Advisory Program, a philanthropic partnership between UBS Wealth Management Americas and the William J. Clinton Foundation. As a participant in the Program’s New York Metro Area pilot, Different Roads to Learning received six months of pro-bono strategic financial and business advice from a UBS Financial Advisor and a dedicated client. The app is a product of this mentorship program. For more information, visit itunes.

Here are the reviews on the app:


About Different Roads to Learning

Founded 17 years ago by the mother of a child diagnosed with Autism, Different Roads to Learning understands and embraces the unique needs of every child on the spectrum and strives to enable parents and professionals to help children grow to their full potential by offering over 500 of the most progressive and carefully researched quality products in support of the Autism Community. Visit www.difflearn.com. Read our blog.  Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

For more information, please contact:

Product: Abigail Schlaifer, (212) 604-9637 or abigail@difflearn.com

Media: Julie Huang, Kaimen Company for Different Roads to Learning, (888) 989-8808 x703 or (917) 807-0718 or julie@kaimenco.com

Tell Me About It! Sweepstakes – Win A Free Copy of Our New App!

 Different Roads to Learning is thrilled to offer you the chance to win a free copy of our latest iPhone/iPad App for teaching language to students with Autism or speech and language delays: Tell Me About It! Learning Language by Receptive Function, Feature & Category. This special offer ends on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.

 Tell Me About It! teaches the label, category, function, and features of more than 235 language targets over 6 levels of incremental difficulty with over 1000 unique testable attributes. The presentation of each language target conforms to an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) discrete trial program, with reinforcement provided by a token economy system. Once the user collects the given number of tokens, they are rewarded with an adorable 5-10 second animation clip of the token character.

 Tell Me About It! provides a self-contained discrete trial program that error corrects and provides direct reinforcement to the student while collecting and synthesizing data for up to 10 students. There is a Student Report Card in the format of a data sheet that displays data for each student, with an option to email the results.

For complete details on our sweepstakes and to enter, click here

Currently, our new app Tell Me About It!is being sold in the iTunes store for $9.99. You have the chance to win it for free by entering our Sweepstakes!

 To learn more about Tell Me About It!, visit the store in iTunes by clicking here! 


Finding Good Apps for Children with Autism

It’s amazing that a whole new market of educational tools have popped up in the market for educating individuals with ASD. In the last few months, there have been so many apps for autism to choose from that it’s difficult for parents and teachers to navigate and find the ones that will work best for their particular child. There are now entire sites dedicated to showcasing various Apps and describing them in detail to help you narrow your choices. Check out today’s Gadgetwise column in the NY Times for the list of 4 sites so you can make wiser choices for your student.

People with Disabilities to Vote with iPad

The state of Oregon provided iPads to voters with disabilities who may find it difficult to use a paper ballot in Tuesday’s election. The program is being tested and if successeful, will continue in January. Read more about this inititative in the Disability Scoop.

Apps for Autism on 60 Minutes

CBS just aired an interesting segment on apps for individuals with autism and communicating with the iPad. You can watch the entire segment here:

There’s also an interesting follow-up segment interviewing teachers who feel the apps for people with autism are “overblown”:

Are you using apps with your students with ASD? If so, which ones? What do you think the value of the iPad and other tablets is to the learning needs of the autism population?

Apps for Children with Special Needs

Apps for Children with Special NeedsFor all you technophiles who are loving using the iPad with your students and children, this website – Apps for Children with Special Needs – is going to knock your socks off. They’re completely on top of all the new educational apps coming out. They list each one, explaining their features in detail and even provide a video of the app in use so you can decide if it’s right for you before shelling out the money. This is a GREAT site that we highly recommend!

Enter to win a free iPad from the HollyRod Foundation

The HollyRod Foundation is raising money to provide free iPads to families in need. Applications are being accepted until December 31, 2010. In trying to donate to the those in the most need, the guidelines stipulate that the child is non-verbal or minimally verbal and that the family falls below a certain income level. We applaud the HollyRod Foundation for trying to make a real difference in the lives of families in our community.

Dublin Schools Using iPad As Educational Tool

This is an interesting article about a school district in Ohio that is using Ipads with students with developmental disabilities. We were particularly struck by the way they’re using it to appeal to students by engaging all of their senses and providing reinforcement.