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Circles Social Skills Utility™ Stories – Cindy’s Classroom

Putting the Circles Social Skills Utility™ to Use: A Case Study of Cindy Garwood’s Classroom

Cindy Garwood reached out to us a few months ago with questions about the Circles Social Skills Utility™. She’s a teacher for the Moderate/Severe Program at her high school, had been using the Circles curriculum for a long time. Both Cindy and her students were excited about the app’s release: “I’m so excited to try it out! My boys are totally “in love” with Faith. We are learning the Circle Jumping. It’s so helpful to teach boundaries to my teenage boys!

We were thrilled to hear Cindy’s feedback on the app and she was happy to provide us with some awesome details about her classroom’s experience with the Circles Social Skills Utility™. Check it out:

Student learning social boundaries from the Circles Social Skills Utility™!

Fun and Engaging for High School Students

After downloading the app, Cindy gave us some great feedback about how the app works for her teenage students. Some of her best results came from taking photos of her students as well as uploading different pictures to her iPad. Cindy’s students with special needs were so excited to see themselves in the Circles, and she reported that it allowed her students to be more engaged in the activity.

She found that the students really enjoyed the create-an-icon feature. She told us about Vivy’s experience—Vivy is one of her students with severe cerebral palsy. Cindy reported that Vivy was able to choose and create the icons when they helped her by scrolling through the characters. Cindy said, “She really enjoyed touching the colors to create the hair and skin color. She was laughing so hard. I hadn’t seen her that happy all week!”

Important Reinforcement of the Circles Curriculum Lessons

personal space and social boundaries app for special needs

Cindy then told us about another special student of hers—Daniel. Cindy shared photos of some of Daniel’s Circles! He has been doing a great job practicing personal space and social boundaries through the Circles Social Skills Utility™. Daniel had great success in recognizing and naming all of his family members after adding photos of them to his Circles. “Seeing the pictures of his family are very reinforcing for him!” she added. He was also able to add some of his female classmates to the Orange Wave Circle. Cindy added that the app helped reinforce that we wave to—and not touch—the people in our Orange Wave Circle, even if we see them a lot.

Circles Social Skills Utility™ - Social Boundaries and Relationships

As you can see, a simple group photo is a great way to put entire groups of students in a circle!

Students Share Personal Boundaries With Each Other

Daniel’s classmates were able to talk with him about the Orange Wave Circle and why they would like to share only a wave with him. In this sense, the Circles Social Skills Utility™ strengthened the whole class’s knowledge of these relationship boundaries, and even sparked a discussion about why some students may prefer a wave to a handshake. The Circles Social Skills Utility™ made these often difficult subjects of personal space into something tangible and easy for the students to understand. It also helped students feel more comfortable expressing their boundaries to each other.


If you have any questions about the Circles Social Skills Utility™ or the Circles Curriculum, contact us through our contact form on!

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