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by Jess

Why Money Matters

December 9, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Years ago I made a job change.  I moved from being an individual and family therapist in an urban community mental health center to working in a high school for children with Asperger’s Syndrome.  One dramatic change from community mental health to private school is that I rarely have to ask (or beg) parents to come see me.  In fact, nearly every day there is at least one parent who “pops in” to see if I am available to chat.  What is even more interesting is that many of these parents that I see on a daily basis are dads.  My community mental health colleagues know that dads are usually the last family member they will see in the therapy office.  Even more interesting than how many dads I see is the number of these dads who are older dads.  Gray hair, available in the middle of the day, work from home if they like, and retired dads. Read the rest of this entry →

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Develop Money Skills: Next Dollar Up App Review

May 2, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

Next Dollar Up by Limited Cue, LLC is an app to teach children with special needs money management skills. According to the app page, “Next Dollar Up is a widely utilized special education teaching strategy for those with special needs to develop independence in money management using a whole dollar amount concept. It involves looking at an item price and rounding up to the next dollar to make the purchase.” Utilizing whole dollar concepts is a nice way start teaching the basics of money management and the app is presented in a simple, easy to use format. The App is currently on sale in the iTunes marketplace for $1.99.

The app was just released on April 24, 2012 and currently only has one game that teaches the child how to make grocery store purchases that cost up to $5 by using 1 dollar bills. I have an idea on how to expand the concept for the next version but will get to that later. The game presents the child with an item priced between $0.01 and $5.00 and prompts the child to drag the correct number of dollar bills to the payment area.

The concept is to teach the child to round up to the nearest dollar and provide the correct number of dollar bills needed for each purchase. For example, if you were shown a picture of lemons that cost $0.58 the correct answer needed to make the purchase would be $1. There are currently 34 game cards in all which are rotated in a randomized order with amounts up to $5.

If the child gets the answer correct they are awarded a star. The goal is to get 10 correct answers and when this occurs the screen will play music and show a sign that says congratulations. If the child gets the answer incorrect the will see a red x on the screen indicating the answer is wrong and flipping the card over to show the correct answer on the screen.


The App page also states that, “Simplicity and consistency are at the forefront of design, with the intention that the user not become lost in its functions but rather receive the maximum educational value possible.” While I agree the app is simple and does a nice job of teaching the concept presented I think the next version needs to be expanded. For example, my son has mastered this concept but is struggling with differentiating the value of higher denominated bills (i.e. $1’s, $5’s, 10’s and 20’s). I would love to see the next version expanded to include difficulty levels and introduce the concept of higher dollar purchases using multiple bill types. I think by adding difficulty levels the user base would increase tremendously. That being said, if your child is struggling with the basics of money management this is the app for you!!!!


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