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Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool

Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool



Age Range

Early Childhood & Lower Primary

App Type

Learning App

Version Reviewed


Android Available?

Is Android Available

Lite Version Available?

Is a Lite Version Available

Help Provided?

Is Help Provided
Bloom's Thinking Process
CreatingBlooms Creating
EvaluatingBlooms Evaluating
AnalysingBlooms Analysing
ApplyingBlooms Applying
UnderstandingBlooms Understanding
RememberingBlooms Remembering
Includes recorded voice
Add own text
Includes images
Review Comments
Calm Counter support students to stay calm when they are angry or mad. Calm Counter includes a counter and a social story.
Calm Counter:
The Calm Counter is a wonderful way to support children to independently manage and regulate their emotions. Calm Counter uses a simple face emoticon and recorded voice. The first screen shows 'I need a break'. The student taps to progress through the countdown from 10 (angry face and red) to 1 (calm face and blue). The child is then encouraged to deep breath. This is a wonderful visual support. The screen is simple and uncluttered. Counting can be a calming strategy for children on the spectrum.
Social Story (see Carol Gray, 2010)
Criterion Achieved: The story is in first person. The story uses the same face emoticon used in the calm counter. The face also animates and shows the breathing  and count down action. The story coaches the student to count down and deep breath. The story provides validation saying 'It's okay to feel angry. All kids and grown-ups get angry sometimes".
The language is appropriate for students in early childhood and early primary. The text spacing is condensed but it is quite large. The vocabulary is accurate and literal. The story includes descriptive, perspective, coaching and affirmative sentences.
Criterion Not Achieved: The story needs a title. The ratio of coaching sentences (4) to other (6) sentences is a little too high. As a result, this story sounds more like a list of things to do, rather than a social story. This app has a great deal of potential and with some small changes, could be very useful as a social story.
Use Rank (*)
Social Stories Ranked 6th of 16
Emotional Regulation Ranked 4th of 15
Top Apps for Psychologists Ranked 9th of 15

(*) This app has been ranked according to its' effectiveness to achieve the learning goals and strategies listed. Some apps may rank highly for achieving a specific use and lower for other uses. Some students will learn and engage with one app more than others, because of the individual nature of us all.

Learning App
Learning apps are designed for a specific purpose. The authors claim to teach a goal, skill or concept.
Bloom's Thinking Process
Bloom's Taxonomy is classification system used to explain the behaviours important in learning. Apps range from simple memory tasks such as flashcards apps through to creative apps which ask students to create an original story or video.
Bloom's Creating
The student creates new ideas, products or ways of viewing things. Activities include making, animating, designing, constructing, planning, producing and inventing.
Bloom's Evaluating
The student justifies a decision or course of action. Activities include counting to check, hypothesising, critiquing, experimenting and judging.
Bloom's Analysing
The student breaks the information into parts to explore understandings and relationships. Activities include explaining, ordering, inferring, comparing and organising.
Bloom's Applying
The student uses the information in a new situation. Activities include implementing, carrying out, using, illustrating, classifying and categorising.
Bloom's Understanding
The student comprehends the new information. Activities include describing, predicting showing understanding use a multiple choice.
Bloom's Remembering
The student recalls information they know. Activities include matching, 'fill in the blank', making a choice, answering using a multiple choice, naming a group.
Learning Connection
How well does the app teach the targeted skill or concept? This is the area where we refer to current research and pedagogy to evaluate the efficacy of the app.
Authenticity looks at the manner in which skills are learnt. Authentic apps use real life or genuine activities. Students learn in context rather than in a contrived or rote fashion (such as flashcards).
Feedback needs to be specific and result in improved performance. Feedback should be supportive and encouraging rather than negative. Data should be available to support decision making.
Differentiation is the ability to customise the app to suit the student. The ability to record you voice, customise text, add pictures and alter settings enables individualisation of the app.
User Friendliness
User friendliness is a measure of how well a student can use the app independently. Some apps are simply intuitive to use. Others include audio or visual prompts which support the student.
All apps are engaging the first time they are played. However, students with diverse learning needs may need to return to the app many times. Motivating apps offer rewards,games or incentives.
Social Stories
A Social Story™ describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses. There are ten criteria that need to be followed to write a Social Story (Carol Gray, 2010). To make your own Social Stories, see Story and Book Makers apps
Emotional Regulation
Emotional regulation apps support a child's ability to understand and accept his or her emotional experience. This leads to choosing healthy strategies to manage uncomfortable emotions. The Emotional Toolbox (Attwood, 2004) is a strategy to identify different 'tools' which could fix negative emotions such as anger and anxiety. Tools include physical, social, relaxation, thinking activities, solitude and special interests. Also see apps for sensory integration.
Top Apps for Psychologists
This is a list of the Top Apps for Psychologists

Domain Score Details
Learning Connection 4
The Calm Counter is brilliant. For many children with autism, counting can be a calming exercise. The counting support and encouragement to deep breath are fantastic. The social story follows most of the criterion. It can sound like a list of directions with a lot of coaching. Some more describing sentences would help.
Authenticity 4
The Calm Counter helps the child independently evaluate and manage their own emotions. The Social Story has some interactivity - the child taps on the screen to count down and watch the breathing animation.
Feedback 1
Feedback is not provided in this app.
Differentiation 2
The voice can be changed from male to female, or turned off. I would like to see a simple 'home' button added so the child could exit from the Social Story.
User Friendliness 4
This app is very simple to use. This is an important feature of this app as the child needs to learn to use this app independently when angry. The app is clean and uncluttered.
Motivation 4
Motivation to use this app will vary greatly, depending on the child. The child may need additional rewards and education to find the device and learn to use it independently when angry. The Social Story includes animation, which is fun.
From the App Store
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Touch Autism

App Store Rating

(from 3 reviews)

Current Version Rating

(from 3 reviews)

Current Version

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Developer's Description
Calm Counter is a visual and audio tool to help people calm down when they are angry or anxious. The app includes a social story about anger, and audio/visual tools for calming down.


The app opens up to a “I need a break screen” that vocalizes “I need a break” when it is tapped. The screen then transitions to a red screen with an angry face and the number ten. With each tap the screen transitions to a calmer face and color. In this way, the app prompts the user to count backwards from ten followed by a deep breath.

The app also includes a simple social story with line drawings about anger. The social story talks about feeling angry and things you can do, like counting to ten, breathing deeply and taking a break, to calm yourself down.

The settings screen allows you to choose from male, female or no vocals for counting back from ten and for reading the social story out loud.

Disclaimer: The evaluations and rankings information provided here are based solely on the opinion of the author and are for informational purposes only. Families should seek professional advice before making decisions regarding interventions for their child.