Special Spelling has a number of configurable settings: it is important to make use of these so you can adapt the app to match your child's ability and inclination.
Some settings apply to all activities, others are specific to each individual activity. On iOS tap the Options button to access the settings, and on Android tap the menu button at the top right in the main view to access the settings. Note: the child safety gate which prevents children accessing the settings will ask you to enter the answer to a calculation to continue, as explained below.
Slide to the left to slow down the pace of all activities, or to the right to speed them up.
If this is ON (by default) the current word is spoken at the beginning of the activity.
If this is ON (by default) then tapping the images causes the word to be spoken, and tapping a letter or letter combinations causes the letter or combination to be spoken.
If this is ON (by default) the current word is spoken after successfully matching.
You can choose to either hear the names or individual letters (e.g. "bee" for "b" or "em" for "m") or their phonetic sounds. The default is Name, the alternatives are Phonetic (Long) and Phonetic (Short).
You can change the font used to display the text on the cards in the activities. By default, the Special Letters font from Special iApps is used. The app also includes two OpenDyslexic fonts, designed to increase readability for users with dyslexia, and you can select these here, or any other fonts installed on the device.
If you turn this ON, the text on the cards and in the Word List view will be displayed in CAPITAL LETTERS.
You can set this to show an animated reward (wiggling of the objects), to plan an audible reward (clapping), both or neither, when you successfully complete an activity. The default is to use both.
If this is ON (the default), then when the app is restarted it will reopen whichever activity was being used the last time it was used. Turn this OFF if you prefer the app to always start with its main view open.
When it's time to move on to the next step within an activity, a blue arrow normally appears, and you need to tap it to proceed. Turn OFF to instead move on automatically without showing the arrow.
Turn this OFF to prevent accidental changes to the words, especially if you have added your own words and have left your child to play on their own. It then prevents adding, deleting and reordering words in the Word List, disabled the import, export and reset buttons on the Actions page, and prevents profiles being added, deleted or reordered.
There is a choice of white and black, which may be helpful for some children with visual impairment.
The default profile comes with 96 words in a choice of native spoken voices: male, female and child (UK), female (US). You can select which is your preferred one to override the device default. See Chapter 5.
There is a Reset button in the Options / Menu of the main view. You can use this to reset all settings and content to their default values. In other words, this restores the app to its state when first installed, undoing any configuration changes you have made, and removing any content you have added. As a precaution to prevent accidental reset, you will be prompted to enter the word reset to confirm you wish to do this. Please note: this action cannot be undone.
You can access these by selecting the name of the activity in the settings from the main view. Alternatively, there is a menu button in each activity that can be used to quickly access its individual settings. See the summary of activities in Chapter 3 for details.
The app includes a child safety gate (also sometimes called a parental gate, parental lock or parental control), designed to protect children against navigating out of the app and visiting websites with unsuitable content, etc. It also controls access to the Actions / Sharing page (so guarding use of the data import and export facilities), and to the Settings page itself.
To open the gate, the adult is required to enter the answer to a calculation to continue, for example:
9 - 3 + 4 =
In this case, the answer would be 10. Note: The gate cannot prevent the child from leaving the app by pressing the device's home button and then opening another app.