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MouseTrial Autism Software
Fun animated online exercises to help kids with autism

FAQ: tuning and techniques

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All illustrations, animations, software and text ©Dan Welchman Productions

MouseTrial is too hard! What can I do?
You can make it easier by reducing the array size and/or by limiting the choice of objects which can get put into the array. (try switching off some of the more difficult ones in the options page). To start with you can even have an array size of one just to get the child used to clicking on a picture. You can also use a little hand-over-hand prompting on the mouse.

MouseTrial is too easy! What can I do?
You can use a bigger array and make sure that all the available items are ticked on in the options page. Or you could select one of the more advanced trials from the module. Alternatively you can buy a new module so that your child is learning some unfamiliar material. Don't forget that you can always have a go with new modules before you buy them.

My child's gone "click happy"! What can I do?
This can happen when a child realises that the yellow flashing prompt is telling him how to get the animation. Sometimes they start to click randomly and rapidly anywhere on the screen as a sneaky way of getting a clue. If this happens try increasing the number of retries. (for more details see our page on how to use MouseTrial) This will make the child have a few attempts at getting the right answer before prompting them. Alternatively, this behaviour can occur when the child is simply getting tired or frazzled. In that case a rest or a run about in the garden can be equally effective.

My child keeps clicking the wrong mouse button! What can I do?
One answer is to use a single button mouse! Until recently Macs were supplied with one-button mice and these can be used on pretty much any computer just by plugging them in to the USB port. However, even Apple are shipping multi-button mice now, so the one-button kind are getting a bit rare. But it's quite easy to convert a cheap three-button mouse by disabling the spare buttons (either mechanically, by glueing the cracks or electrically if the mouse can be dismantled). On the other hand, some people like to train their child to use an ordinary mouse from the outset. This can normally be achieved with a little patience and hand-over-hand prompting.