Special Stores is available in two editions:
The native edition (Special Stories) is available as paid apps from the App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore. The web-based edition (Special Stories Plus) is available on a paid subscription basis directly from Special iApps. We recommend purchasing Special Stories Plus edition because subscription is not limited to specific hardware platforms and has many more features than the native edition. To use a web-based edition, you will first need to install it as detailed in Chapter 2.
This user guide relates to both editions, noting where there are differences between them. In particular, the look & feel of the native Android/Chromebook editions is slightly different from the web-based and native iOS editions.
Special Stories allows you to create your own stories with personalised text, pictures and sound. You can read and listen to your stories, print them to use in paper-based activities and share them with friends and family.
Special Stories has a simple and uncluttered interface for reading and listening to stories, making it suitable for use by children and adults with ASD, Down syndrome, poor fine motor skills, hearing impairment and other learning difficulties. On iOS devices, for those who are unable to use a touch screen, but who can operate switches, the app can be used with 1 or 2 Bluetooth-connected adaptive switches.
You can create as many stories as you wish, and update them again later. Each story can have any number of pages, and each page can have a photo (or any other image), up to 60 seconds of sound you record, and several lines of text. A choice of large and small text sizes, in an easy to read font, allows for either single words and short phrases or longer sentences.
The easy to use facilities for creating and updating stories are summarised in the included Quick Start Guide, and explained in more detail in this User Guide.
You can use Special Stories in many ways to support children's learning an development. There are no limits to what you can create, and some common ways to use the app are:
The user interface and Quick Start Guide are provided in 18 languages: English, Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. If you language is not listed, you can still use the app to create stories in any language.