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  • justine441

Clicker Writing

This is Clicker by Crick Software.

(I strongly suggest you turn the volume down as Toby is grinding his teeth terribly!)

Toby had the mysterious Clicker put in his EHCP when he was 6 / 7 years old. He had the program on a PC and the app on his iPad. When I asked about progress, I was told that it was too difficult for Toby to access so we removed it from the EHCP.

At the start of lockdown I saw a friends child using Clicker, and decided to try the Writer iPad app via a month's trial. Crick Software have an awesome support team and within 10 mins after watching a short video, we were up and running.

So what is Clicker? It's an easy way for a child to write. There are three parts - Sentences, Connect and Docs. You can buy one part as an app but its being phased out and the whole app with all 3 parts in is called Writer.

Sentences presents the child with a prepared sentence. It can be presented in order; or wont move on until the write word is pressed; or muddled up like the example above. The video above is of a sentence set.

Connect gives the child choices. We did a connect set about what food my child likes / dislikes which was a lovely insight into his world with him being non verbal. It gives the child some control eg over how a story progresses.

Docs is free writing. We haven't used it but I know there are word banks available eg for topic work. I've seen children writing diaries, letters to Santa or being asked questions.

What we love is there is a huge library of grids all preprepared. So over the last year we have written about spring; guy fawkes; bonfire night; food; shopping; colours; light; even money and time. There are so many on almost every national curriculum topic.

Clicker can also be personalised. School have started to send personalised reading, history or science work via e-mail to us to complete. So sentence or connect sets can be made from scratch using the picture bank or your own images. You can create your own word banks too.

Clicker also talks to repeat the sentences back to the child. It is very good at saying non typical names! Best of all work can be printed at the end. Toby loves hitting print and waiting for his work to come out ready to stick in his book.

So why did I post this today? It was because I had no idea that Toby was sat completing this piece of work all by himself! Hence only catching part.

Admittedly this grid was quite easy for him, but there's so many complex procedures here which he has mastered - writing the sentence correctly; inserting the image at the start (he often forgets); starting a new line; remembering the full stop; and swiping back when he made the wrong movement.

I believe the PC version has more capabilities - you buy one licence but you have to choose whether to put it on an iPad (easier accessibility) or a PC - you cant have it on both unless you pay again. Its a little frustrating you can't have both options at home, as a PC version would include mouse skills later on when right now we need the easy access via the ipad. The downside is the cost. I paid for the separate Sentences and Docs ipad apps, but I managed to get the whole app paid for after months of asking the school and LA.

What I am most disappointed about is that I had no idea how simple Clicker was to use. It is highly likely that Clicker could have been used with Toby from age 5/6/7 as his reading was good; and Toby's English would now be at a much higher level than it currently is.

Cricksoft are great at offering trials if you ask. I wish I had known how fantastic Clicker was years ago.

It is so amazing seeing your non verbal, barely able to write child producing sentences on his own. First published on 28.4.2021

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