Stage4.jpgStage Four - Early Concepts

Stage Four marks another significant turning point in the learner’s progress—the learner moves from language foundation to academic readiness. Until now, the content has focused on building a solid language foundation. The Stages© framework stresses that before a learner can be expected to enter an established academic program, he must have a stable foundation in language. In Stage Four the focus shifts toward more traditional development in both academic and social skills. Whereas the language foundation of the first three Stages followed a sequential pattern of development, academic discovery does not. The skills developed in Stage Four through Stage Seven are interconnected and may develop concurrently as the learner acquires complementary skills.

A Stage Four Learner ...

  • recognizes colors, shapes, letters and numbers
  • can control the input device to explore accessible software independently
  • understands vocabulary for emerging literacy and/or mathematical foundation
  • develops simple social interaction skills with peers, such as turn taking in conversations
  • understands social expectations in various situations and can express common courtesies
  • engages with peers in interactive, make-believe play situations
  • shares materials with peers in group activities

Features to Consider

  • readiness content rather than software with higher academic content.
  • more importance on the opportunity to explore concepts than on the correctness of responses
  • risk-free, supportive, encouraging learning environment
  • eliminate distracting targets as incorrect responses are made
  • rewarded for finding answers no matter how many tries
  • build self-esteem and confidence
  • provide opportunities for social interactions
  • offers virtual play environment


ABA receptive ID – by Class
Categorizing activity using real pictures. Asks you to pick the picture receptively (example- show me the one that you take to school – the backpack)
ABC Magic 2
Preschool University
Learn letter sounds through rhythm and repetition
Abc PocketPhonics Lite: letter sounds & writing + first words
Apps in my Pocket Ltd.
FREE or in-app purchase of $2.99 for complete alphabet
3 apps in 1 that combined address many readiness and assessment activities
Adapted Play Book - Peanut Butter
Creative Communicating
Interactive book that is switch accessible. Can be used for a Stage 2 learner (listening to the book with key vocabulary) or a Stage 3 learner (identifying key vocabulary). Engaging and motivating! App is switch accessible.
Animals in Pieces HD
RT Studios
Beginning puzzles of 4-5 pieces. Pieces can be moved and placed with a finger or by touching a button (magic wand). Helps the child practice organizing shapes into a whole. After a puzzle is solved, the child earns a chance to listen to a nature story about the animal. Settings allow choice of relaxing music or no sound, and English or French. This is nice for grades K-3 as a science resource.
Data is collected on skills such as color and shape recognition and emailed to the account holder on a weekly basis.
Articulation Station Pro
Little Bee Speech
Created by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, Articulation Station Pro is a full featured articulation application to help children as well as adults learn to speak and pronounce their sounds more clearly. Beautiful high quality images represent target words to be practiced in fun-filled activities with the assistance of a Speech-Language Pathologist, teacher or parent.
Data Collection is included as a measuring tool
Autism iHelp - Shapes
John Talavera
(offers in app purchases)
$2.99 to complete the set with all 8 shapes
This app teaches shape vocabulary. It uses vibrant real photographs of each shape in things in the environment such as home, food and outdoors. The free app allows you to sample the teaching pictures from two shape categories. With the full set the user will have access to 8 basic shapes and shape games. The user’s progress will be tracked and the previous three performances are averaged.
Autism Shapes
Dr. Gary Brown and Bob Bradley
Select the shapes for the students to identify. The program gives them two choices of shapes and the student needs to correctly identify the prompted shape.
ABA Flash Cards - Shapes
This app describes objects by shape. This activity teaches shape concept.
Bert’s Bag
Sesame Workshop
Math readiness by having the user open a paper bag by sliding their finger over it. Next the user must shake the bag by either double tapping the bag or shaking the iPad. Objects then fall out onto the table. The user then can slide an object over from the pile or single tap the object. As each object is touched it is verbally counted and the number of items also appears. Already counted items cannot be counted again. When all items are counted the total is repeated and the category label for the objects is also repeated. Bert provides verbal prompts when the program is idle for more than 5 seconds.
Bright Start ABC 123
BrightSTart LLC
Tracing letters or numbers errorless with auditory feedback and sound matching. Data collection feature with percentage correct.
Bugs and Bubbles
Little Bit Studio, LLC.
There are over 18 games to choose from for this app to develop skills in counting, sorting, patterns, fine motor skills and tracking. The graphics are beautiful and very interactive and engaging.
Caboose Express: Patterns and Sorting for Preschool and Kindergarten (Version 1.0)
This app allows the user to practice 2 skills-patterns and sorting. For the patterning game, the user plays a game trying to get a train across the United States. The user completes patterns and earns pieces of a train track. After several questions are answered, the train moves across the screen. The user can complete patterns with colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. The app has optional narration. For the Sorting, the user sorts letter, numbers, and shapes to help the dinosaur move across Europe. Although the app does not collect data, another individual could sit with the student an tally the number of correct and incorrect responses.
Candy Count – Learn Colors and Numbers
Camigo Media LLC
Scaffolded teaching of sorting, counting, comparing, and arranging. Settings include: color targets, highest number, sharing features, and total time tracking.
Available in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Spanish, & English
ChooseIt! Numeracy
Inclusive Technologies
App covers a vast content of math foundations, including shape, space and measure, positional words, opposites, sequencing, and time awareness. Also, couning sets, number recognition, and time activities are included in this series of graded activities. Built-in performance reporting. Saves results in camera roll.
Requires iOS 4.3 or later
Accessible using touch or single and two switch scanning;
Color Names & Shapes Playtime
Users are prompted by voice, text, and image to select a color, shape, and determine what is different. User cannot move on until all responses have been selected. Settings cannot be customized, and data is not collected.
Count TV
Sesame Workshop
Math readiness skills through errorless counting. The user first chooses a number 1-9 on a number pad by a single tap. This selects a Sesame Street video focused on the number selected. The video pauses at a point where the user is asked to count the objects by a single tap on each object. When an object is tapped a purple star is placed over the object to show it has been counted. If the user tries to count it again a verbal prompt is given “oh, you have already counted that one”. As objects are counted a verbal and visual number count is provided.
Binary Labs, Inc.
Allows learners practice with highly engaging hand exercises that improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness. Has automatic tracking feature to record time on task and results.

DotToDot numbers & letters lite

Apps in My Pocket Ltd

The light version contains 8 dot to dot puzzles. It allows you to choose the age level. If the right dot is touched, the app says the number. If the wrong dot is touched, the dot wiggles and the correct dot draws attention to itself. When the puzzle is complete the app celebrates with audio and creates a visual picture.
(DTT) Shapes
Teaches shape discrimination. At first the child has two choices, then the program can be set for more. The shape words are paired with the images. Motivating verbal rewards to keep the child going. This is a beginning game for the Stage 3 learner to move towards making choices using a finger touch. Designed to support teaching using discrete trial training.
Fish School
Duck Duck Moose
Allows the learner to practice recognizing colors, shapes, letters and numbers. Additionally, there are activities for matching, identifying differences and free play. Provides auditory and visual feedback for the learner.
Five Little Monkeys
Counting, opposites, reading and singing. Collects information with consent.
Five Shark Swimming
Inclusion Technology
This app is switch accessible. This app is simple to play activity that requires just a touch anywhere on the screen to continue the song. Ideal for young children and those requiring simple access or learning numbers 1 - 5.
FW Animals
Learning Touch
Uses animals names to teach learner to recognize and match levels, listen and read the word as it is spelled, and learn the names of letters. Also develops fine motor skills.
Adapted Play Book- Hurry! Hurry!
Creative Communicating
One in a series of interactive play books by Pati King-Debaun, activities include exploring, finding items to tell/sing a story/ accessible via direct touch or switch
iBehaveWell (Version 1.0)
Derrick A Brown
iBehaveWell is a simple behavioral data collection app. It allows the user to count different types of positive and negative behaviors, and even to create graphs displaying those behaviors over time. It is a great alternative behavior chart. It is organized by student and class, allowing the same app to be used for multiple students and across multiple settings.
I Can Help
This switch accessible app builds on vocabulary by encouraging literacy and comprehension skills with the use of Symbolstix graphics.
Stories are presented either interactively, read aloud, or told by the user with three different skill levels.
Interactive games allow the user to “show what you know” using core vocabulary.
The settings feature allows users to change options including: Switch and scanning, voice selection, music, sound effects and color for visual needs.
Additional stories can be purchased in the application.
Data can be collected through observation, video, and screenshots.
Mobile Education Store LLC
Helps build conversation skills in elementary students. Students have a choice of which sentences would be appropriate for response. They record their response to keep for data collection. The whole conversation is then played back. Can be customized with different scenarios and the length of conversation and the level of hints.
A Kindergarten Pattern Recognition Game – for iPad
Nth Fusion LLC
This is a fun and interactive app that teaches children how to extend picture patterns. The app provides customization features to set difficulty level, number of questions in a game, pattern themes, and tracks data for how many correct answers out of total possible correct answers for each game.
Lego Jrs Create and Cruise
The LEGO Group
This is a great app for children who are working on attributes such as nouns and colors. This app does not have data collection but is extremely motivating for device access, choice making and social interaction if taking turns. It can also be used for more advanced activities such as answering and asking Wh questions.
Line ‘em Up Version 1.3.0
Classroom Focused Software
User practices number order up to 32 in order from least to greatest. Can choose 10, 15 or 20 numbers at a time. (Sequencing numbers seems to be between identifying numbers and counting objects).
Little Sorter Alphabet
Innovative Investments Limited – Grasshopper Apps
App asks users to sort/match upper & lower case letters. You can adjust the number of letters to sort/match, provide audio hints, customize the letters you want to work on and customize the audio and reinforcers.
Magic Penny 1
Magic Penny Reading, LLC
Teaches phonemic awareness with letter recognition. Has both parent version and teacher version so child can also use at home.
Monster Squeeze
McGraw-Hill Company
In monster squeeze students are given a number line and have to make guess to determine the secret number. As students guess they are given prompts such as “that is larger than the secret number” or “that is smaller than the secret number”. Students need to use these clues to guess the secret number.
Montessori Counting Board
Grasshopper Apps
Learn to count to 20 by touch, in order or by dragging tiles up or down. Numbers can be customized by recording your own voice.
My Own Books 2 Go
Creative Communicating
Books that are created on website are switch accessible. Books created online are synced with iPad app. Teachers can create accessible books that target specific skills. Audio can be recorded and added to supplement the text. Books you created can be published to the online public library. Supplemental material: Monthly writing prompts. App is free/Subscription required to make books ($4.00/month)
My Play Home (Full Version)
Play Home Software Limited
Just like the lite version, users can control each family member, interact with props and be moved around in the setting. This version comes with many more rooms within the house, such as the parent and children bedrooms, the bathroom, the backyard and more. With the additional rooms, teachers can also use it for learning routines or how to have expected behavior at home.
My PlayHome
Shimon Young
Navigate through different rooms of the house as your child makes different members of the family do things. The adult can give students directions or users can give each other directions having family members do different things and manipulate objects in the house
Phonic Awareness, 1st Grade
Bugbrained, LLC
Different activities of segmenting, blending, and vowels. Does collect data
Phonological Awareness
John Telavera
(Autism iHelp)
-Vocab teaching aide
- Progress report (DATA!)
-Pre-reading skills
- ID sounds
Phonics Made Easy
School Zone Publishing
Skills addressed include letter sounds, rhyming, blends and digraphs.
Potty Training Social Story
Touch Autism
This is a social story about using the potty. You can choose between a male or female character. You can also choose to have the story read to you or read it to yourself. Lastly, It includes a visual schedule for using the bathroom. This story has an initial focus on stop and go (stopping what you are doing and going to the bathroom). This story has animated cartoon pictures. There is no option to input your own picture images in to this book. The creators do provide information and a FAQ about potty training in the app.
Pre K Math HD
By Mintmomeg
Development of basic mathematic skills. There are 10 different games of colorful and easy to use games to develop basic math skills Gives auditory instruction and feedback from a child
Preposition Builder
Mobile Education Tools
A picture representing a preposition/spatial relation is shown, as well as a cloze sentence with the preposition missing. Given 3 choices, the learner touches and drags a preposition to the sentence. If correct, the learner hears a positive comment as well as the correct sentence read aloud. If incorrect, the app presents the contrasting picture and asks the learner to try again.
Preschool Numbers Game
Grasshopper Apps
Preschool Numbers Game introduces users to the numbers one through ten represented as digits, collections of apples, and held up fingers. Literacy demands are minimal as the page by page directions are read aloud and not displayed as text.
Quick ArticQuick Artic
Virtual Speech Center Inc.
This app helps to develop phonemes and articulation. This easy to use application features a scoring utility which keeps track of the correct and incorrect answers. Quick Artic automatically calculates the score.The application includes ten most common phonemes in all positions of words. It can be used in therapy or for quick articulation screening.
WebTeam Corporation

Skill/Content: This app targets the skills recognizing shapes, and understanding vocabulary for emerging mathematical foundation by giving users a series of shapes and then have them identify the shape with an auditory prompt within a series of shapes.
Curriculum Connection: Identifying shapes from the math standards
Evidence: The app takes data by scoring the users on their ability to tap on the correct shape after hearing and audio prompt. If the student gets the answer wrong, it shows them the correct answer and skips to the next question. The data includes the series number, date played, and number of incorrect answers.
Speak Colors HD
Robert Harrison
This helps an individual with expressive language – it’s a great app with visuals and voice output to help expand phrases and sentences. It has a built-in library of colors, objects, and sentences, and it has the ability to import your own pictures and record your own voice. In addition to the educator recording their own voice, The student can record their voice within the activity, and data can be collected through this feature to get a baseline and to monitor progress.
Speech with Milo- Sequencing
Poorani Doonan
Provides basic sequencing skills by having students order three cards. The language skills targeted are sequencing, storytelling and retelling, and building time concepts such as first, next, last. This app is designed for both the ipad and the iphone.
Special Words
Special iApps
One and two switch visual scanning. Can be personalized. 4 games matching pictures, words, words to pictures and pictures to words
Staying Safe and Safe Strangers
Touch Autism
This app tells two social stories. One story is about stranger safety and the other is about what to do if I am lost. There is an option to have the stories read out loud or to read them by yourself. Switch access or data collection is not built into this App. Data can be collected by video or observer.
Tell Me About It
Different Roads to Learning, Inc.
Great for developing beginning language and thinking skills. Offers a wide variety of categories to learn labeling and word functions to fully understand them and engage in language. It has 6 levels which can be individualized for students needs and keeps data of students progress.
The Foot Book
OceanHouse Media
Text is highlighted as it’s read, so children can follow along. After the page is read, user can tap on words and the word will be highlighted and read again. Many opportunities to hear rhyming words as well.
Toca Boca AB
Students are able to experiment with sounds, beats, and rhythms in a variety of engaging ways.
Toca Builders
Toca Boca AB
User has choice of six different robots who can build and draw in various ways in a 3D world. Can capture screenshots. Good for teaching spatial relations.
Touch write
Comes with 16 different writing textures, 28 different writing papers, Children can practice writing their own names and individualized word lists – parents and teachers can create as many word lists as they want!

As children write, their actual letter formation is displayed next to a standard letter, so children can compare and work to improve

Includes 2 high frequency word lists to help children practice the most common words encountered by early learners, Includes 2 alphabet word lists – short words from a to z providing practice in both upper and lower case letters, Includes 1 alphabet list – for just practicing the letters a to z, both upper and lower case, Brief reward at the end of each word reinforces learning and motivates children, without becoming a distraction. Integrates visual, kinesthetic and simulated tactile modalities to enhance learning. Now a universal app. No data collection within app.
Whiteboard HD
GreenGar Studios

Virtual Whiteboard with many colors, eraser, and layers. Can be exported to facebook and email. Photos can be imported