I first discovered Dexteria when I came across the website Apps for Children with Special Needs (A4CWSN). A4CWSN is a website dedicated to finding, reviewing, and demonstrating how applications can be used for enhancing education and building life skills for children with special needs.
Dexteria is an iPad application created to improve fine motor skills in both children and adults. A4CWSM provides a video demonstration, which shows how the user performs each Dexteria activity. The application contains three different activities: Tap it, Pinch it, and Write it. As the user progresses through the application, the level of difficulty increases, and each activity has five levels. The first activity, Tap it, requires the user to spread his or her hand out on the screen while the application measures the distance of each finger. Then the user is asked to hold down his or her thumb in a certain position on the screen, meanwhile trying to move the other four fingers to touch the remaining buttons. Next, Pinch it, requires the user to use his or her fingers to pinch several crabs located throughout the screen. As the levels progress, the crabs can move and multiply, thus making them more challenging to pinch. Lastly, the Write it activity asks the user to trace each letter with his or her finger. The user is required to touch every dot around the sketch to ensure that he or she is tracing it fully. This activity may also improve handwriting skills if the user holds an iPad stylus, which would be similar to the feeling of gripping a pen.
Lastly, parents and professionals are able to email and print reports to monitor the user’s progress. The reports include the date and time of each use, each level of difficulty completed, and the amount of time it took to complete each level. This feature can help in observing the user’s development and improvement throughout the use of the application.
Dexteria is currently $4.99 at the iTunes store.
By Kelli-Ann Flynn