Cork City Hall was the scene of an alien invasion this week as it hosted the launch of an app aimed at helping children develop the skills they need to operate comfortably in social situations. The game based app is designed to assist the user in understanding the social world in which they live and to teach social skills in a fun and meaningful way. It has been developed from the Personal And Life Skills (PALS) programme pioneered by Shine Ireland, a Cork centre for children with autism. The app was launched by lord Mayor Cllr Mary Shields with Minister of State Kathleen Lynch T.D. and is the result of a collaboration between Shine Ireland, the Smarter Senses Project and Cork based graphic design and website development studio Doodle creative. Funding for the project came from the Bon Secours Hospital’s Community Initiative Outreach Programme.
Laura Crowley, director of Education at Shine Ireland, said the app will extend the PALS programme’s reach beyond the centre’s physical location in Carrigaline and that the game teaches users the social consequences of their actions. The app costs €4.99 and is available from ITunes and the Google Play store. For further information see www.kloogsocialskills.com