Engaging children who have autism | Case Study

Hello, my name is Matthew Green and I am a teacher at Ashmount School

Engaging children with special needs:

Ashmount School is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage their most challenged students. So naturally, they couldn’t wait to trial out Skoog.

“Within our trial, we have used the Skoog in a variety of classes across the school. Pupils in EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4/5 have all had a chance to experience the Skoog and explore its potential for some of their pupils.”

After a short introduction all of the support staff and teachers who ran the sessions found that the Skoog was easy to set up and get going.

Case study: Lewis

Starting points: Lewis does not engage in any musical instruments. He is tactile defensive and struggles to engage in many activities that we do. Lewis often walks around the classroom picking things up then throwing them up in the air or onto the floor. He can become distressed when he is uncomfortable with new equipment or ways of working.

What happened during the sessions? 

Lewis sat and watched other children engage in the Skoog. When it was his turn he picked up the Skoog and hugged it towards himself.

It made a sound and he smiled.

He then continued to touch and squeeze the Skoog.

Lewis has sat for up to 15 minutes engaging with the Skoog, pressing and hugging it.

Positive outcomes: It has been lovely to have an activity that we know Lewis will engage with. He is happy when exploring the Skoog and not once has he thrown it to the floor.

Looking forward: I want Lewis to continue working with the Skoog. I am going to try and move forward by seeing if Lewis can follow a set pattern to create a tune. This could be achieved by having symbols instead of colors to follow.

Overall, we have been really impressed with the Skoog. It has great uses with children across lots of different abilities. It is intuitive to play and intriguing to explore. The different instrument options allow children to make choices, which fit their preferences, and additional apps such as Skratch allow children to record their own sounds. Which they love.

Able children who may be less physically able to play a conventional instrument (due to decreased mobility or dextrous ability) but are able to understand how to play a tune love the way Skoog responds to their touch and allows them to play tunes using the inbuilt songbook.

Children who access the world in a sensory way enjoy the responsiveness of the Skoog, the robust design is ideal for children as they knock, press and hug the Skoog to activate the different sides. They can make lovely soundscapes and explore different sounds easily; whilst adults can change the effects, octave, key and instrument from the app.

The app is intuitive and simple enough for adults with little prior technical knowledge, the supporting tutorials are clear and concise and let you get up and running with it in a matter of minutes.

Stay tuned to see more from the educators at Ashmount.

How can I have a go?