What’s the difference between TOBY and TOBY 5-7’s?
TOBY 5-7’s follows directly from the original TOBY app, and is designed to teach children 5-7 years of age with autism or who are experiencing language and learning difficulties.
TOBY 5-7’s teaches pre-academic, language and social skills across over 600 achievable tasks, both on iPad and in the real world. Activities include puzzles, matching, categorisation, sequencing, language and concept development and so much more.
TOBY 5-7’s is available for download from the App Store and has in app purchases available.
What are the recommended specifications for the TOBY Autism Therapy app?
TOBY will run on an iPad 1, but we recommend using an iPad 2 or better with iOS version 4.3 or later.
Does TOBY need WiFi to work?
Wi-Fi is needed to download the app, register and login. After that, Wi-Fi is only needed to upload / back-up results.
What does TOBY teach?
The original TOBY app teaches 52 skills in 2 contexts –
- On the iPad (On-iPad): TOBY has around 30 On-iPad activities for your child to do. A small number of On-iPad activities can be completed by the child on their own, but we suggest this to occur only when they are familiar with the activity and they don’t need any adult prompting or help.
- In the Real World (off the iPad during daily activities and play activities): TOBY has around 300 Real World Activities for your child.
TOBY (Therapy Outcomes By You) 5-7’s teaches preacademic, language and social skills across over 600 achievable tasks, both on iPad and in the real world. Activities include puzzles, matching, categorization, sequencing, language and concept development and so much more. TOBY 5-7’s offers greater recording capabilities, and gives confidence in knowing exactly how children are progressing.
Will TOBY help my child?
TOBY has been designed to help any child having difficulty with the early skills needed for learning. TOBY teaches:
- Imitation e.g., how to copy actions from others.
- Sensory Discrimination e.g., being able to see differences between objects, or being able to hear differences in sounds.
- Language e.g., that words are used to label objects and actions.
- Social Skills e.g., that we can engage and share with others by using eye gaze, gestures, facial expressions and words.
Parents and teachers form an important component of the entire TOBY program. Adults will need to become familiar with the teaching and learning principles of TOBY before the child begins the program. There is an easy to follow “Guide” for adults. You can either read information or watch You Tube videos where some TOBY team members talk through the information.
Does my child need to have a diagnosis of Autism to benefit?
No, your child does NOT need to have a diagnosis of Autism to benefit from TOBY.
To help you decide if TOBY might have some activities to help your child, go to our Suitability Questionnaire.
- Each time you answer “Yes, sometimes” or “No” then TOBY will have activities to help your child in this area.
- If you feel there are enough activities that your child needs to learn, then you may like to buy TOBY.
There are a number of You Tube videos which show the scope or range of skills taught in TOBY. Take a look through these videos to see whether you feel there are enough activities for your child to justify the cost.
And if you’re still not sure, please ask a local therapist – show them your answers to the Suitability Questionnaire and also the list of activities included in the App.
What age is TOBY suited to?
- The activities on the original TOBY Autism Therapy App have been designed for children aged of 2–4 years
- TOBY 5-7’s has been designed for children aged 5-7
- Both apps may suit older children who are not yet speaking or who have a developmental delay.
My child doesn’t like some of the activities!
You can adjust TOBY’s Off-iPad activities to suit your child. You can also download our Real World Template (it’s free!)
To use the Template, e.g., “Visual Sensory Matching, Identical Objects: Matching Household Items” will now be your new activity “Visual Sensory Matching, Identical Objects: Trains”.
- Copy the NET “Goal” from the TOBY screen to the NET Template Sheet
- Change the “Materials” to suit your child, e.g., change household items to trains
- Using the “Activity” description, “Prompts” and “Reinforcement” plan what you will say and do – simply substituting the materials accordingly
- Complete the activity with your child
- Record your child’s results – put the results into TOBY for the ORIGINAL TOBY activity, e.g., input results for the “Visual Sensory Matching, Identical Objects: Matching Household Items”.
How long do I stay on tasks if my child doesn’t get it?
Generally speaking, if your child is not learning from the prompting provided (by either you and / or TOBY), then we need to work out why your child is not learning. We want your child to succeed rather than experience difficulties.
- TOBY will move your child through the activity, using prompting as needed.
- If TOBY is telling you to do “Hand Over Hand” prompting and your child still has difficulty, STOP the activity and move to another TOBY activity.
- If you feel your child has needed TOBY’s prompting for too long, please speak with your therapist to problem solve why this might be happening. You may like to contact the TOBY team if you don’t have a therapist to speak to.
- Your child may need to focus on other skills before they will be able to achieve the one you’re trying to work on. Take a break, focus on some of the other tasks and revisit when you’ve seen progress in the other areas.
- TOBY will put a NET task on “Hold” if they are having difficulty and not learning from your prompts.
- Focus on other skills and revisit this target skill when you have seen progress in the other areas.
- Again, please speak with your therapist / s to problem solve what might be happening for your child. You may like to contact the TOBY team if you don’t have a therapist to speak to.
What are Real World Activities?
Real World activities come in two types:
- Adaptive – activities that are part of your daily routine e.g. dressing, having dinner, washing
- Play – activities that are in the form of games and play
Activities are developmentally sequenced, from simple to advanced.
The Real World Activity book is a printed version of approximately 300 therapy tasks, task explanations, prompts and rewards, and is a great tool to use in conjunction with the TOBY App. You can purchase a copy of the book here.
I’m a teacher, can TOBY be used within the classroom?
TOBY can be used within the classroom, at home, in the community or all of above!
Teachers may like to use TOBY within the classroom and playground settings to help individual and/or groups of students achieve learning success.
We suggest that you sit down as a team and plan who will be doing what activities and how you are going to share results / record results. You can contact the TOBY team if you would like more advice on how you might do this.
Several schools are successfully using TOBY in a number of their classrooms. It’s been reported as a fantastic school for helping teachers meet the needs of students – TOBY links in well with Individual Education Plans, and helps all adults working with the child to deliver activities consistently.
You can easily adapt TOBY’s activities to suit your classroom based activities (see “My child doesn’t like some of the activities!”)
I’m a therapist. How can I use TOBY?
Therapists may like to use TOBY to complement current intervention goals. It is especially helpful in guiding parents with home-based and community-based activities to help generalise a range of important learning skills.
I really like the TOBY program, but the current app is too easy for my child!
The TOBY team have now released TOBY 5-7’s, which targets:
- Pre-academic skills, such as completing puzzles of increasing complexity
- Language Comprehension – understanding a range of increasingly complex language concepts
- Expressive Communication – learning how to communicate a range of needs with others
- Joint Attention – learning more sophisticated ways of initiating joint attention to items.
How will I know how my child is tracking?
TOBY has a “Reports” function where parents and therapists can view the child’s progress.
To share the reports, simply take a screenshot and email / print from your “Photos”, or use the option “invite a therapist” on your app.
Who funded TOBY Autism Therapy’s development?
- TOBY Autism Therapy was initially funded by a 3-Year Australian Research Council Linkage grant
- The team was led by Professor Svetha Venkatesh, with Curtin University’s Institute for Multi-Sensor Processing and Content Analysis (IMPCA) and Deakin University’s Pattern Recognition and Data Analysis (PRaDA) team
- Autism West, a not-for-profit organisation in Australia, fundraised as part of the ARC’s grant requirements. Autism West receive no government funding – please visit www.autismwest.org.au to find out more
- Together these initial sources of funding paid for computer scientists and therapists to develop and test the software that is now TOBY Autism Therapy.
Will there be an Android version of TOBY Autism Therapy?
Unfortunately we are not in a position to provide a TOBY version on Android due to funding limitations.
My TOBY app crashes sometimes. What could be the problem?
This normally occurs when your iPad is running low on memory.
You can free up some memory by closing unused apps running in the background. To do this, follow these steps:
a) From the Home screen, click the Home button twice.
b) Tap and hold on the app to close.
c) When it starts to jiggle, tap the red button on the app icon to close it.
d) Repeat tapping on red button on other apps to close them.
I’m still hungry for more information!
Our Facebook page is our main communication link. Any information regarding competitions, releases or exciting news is posted here! It’s also a great place to link in with other TOBY users.
My answer isn’t here. How can I contact the TOBY team?
You can contact a representative of the TOBY team via: