MITA GENERAL QUESTIONS
What devices can I install MITA on?
You can install MITA on almost any smartphone or tablet, however, kids often perform better on larger tablets such as the iPad, or Kindle Fire.
I plan to purchase a tablet to administer MITA to my child. What is the least-expensive tablet I can buy?
We recommend the Kindle Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB for 49.99.
Does MITA need WiFi to work?
You do not need WiFi to enjoy MITA. You will only need WiFi connection when you initially download the app.
HOW DOES MITA WORK FOR CHILDREN?
What age(s) is MITA suited for?
We expect MITA to have the greatest benefit for kids ages 2-12, and moderate benefit for older kids. Take into account that MITA uses adaptive-learning technologies, meaning that the exercises will adapt to a child’s performance, resulting in a customized learning experience. Even some adults find the puzzles challenging, especially at higher difficulty levels.
What type of games are available in the MITA app?
There are thousands of activities assembled into 43 educational games. All of the educational games in MITA target a child’s ability to combine mental objects, also known as Prefrontal Synthesis. This ability is typically impaired in individuals with autism, leading to what is commonly described as stimulus overselectivity or tunnel vision. Improving Prefrontal Synthesis has been shown to lead to vast improvements in general learning.
Why do all the answers have to be dragged into place? Why not just tap the correct answer?
All ImagiRation games involve dragging the answer into the correct position. We never use the tap interaction in our puzzle exercises. While tapping on the correct answer may be easier for a child, there are several reasons for why we decided to only use the drag-and-drop mechanism.
First, using drag-and-drop avoids accidental answers. Any unintentional touch of the screen in the area where answers are shown results in the program counting an incorrect solution. In an adaptive game environment, this may result in the erroneous reduction of a game’s difficulty level just because a child unintentionally tapped an answer on the screen.
Second, tapping the screen does not involve much effort. Children often end up intentionally tapping on all answers until the correct answer is found. Such a trial-and-error approach does not benefit a child’s cognitive development. Drag-and-drop, on the other hand, forces the child to invest a lot of his attention into holding and dragging the solution into the correct position. This provides an additional incentive to first solve puzzles mentally, and only then drag the answer into position.
Finally, drag-and-drop mechanism improves a child’s fine-motor control. Improvement of fine motor control has shown to be associated with improvements in cognitive development as well.
My child sometimes picks up an object accidentally when solving puzzles. Does this count against his overall MITA Score and the game-level difficulty?
We try out best to not count accidental drags towards your child’s overall score. If the app can tell the drag was accidental, we eliminate this data so that it does not affect the adaptivity of MITA or the progress in levels. You will notice that incorrect answers will result in Mr. Smiley reacting, while during accidental drags he will not provide any feedback.
My child seems more entertained by apps like Puzzingo or 22Learn than MITA. Are apps that are more visually stimulating better?
It is hard to decide which apps have educational value and which do not. We recognize that many of the apps out there for kids may look similar to you – they all have pieces that need to be dragged into targets.
Given the choice, children will want to play the easiest games that provide the most sensory stimulation. However, MITA is currently the only app on the market that allows kids to develop the ability to respond to multiple features. This ability is absolutely essential for language development. While other apps may look more engaging, they do not address the most significant problem of language acquisition: the understanding of syntax.
Learning new words can be done throughout your whole life. However, the acquisition of neural networks essential for understanding syntax has a short, critical period that can only be learned in childhood.
To avoid the problem of your child switching to a different app on his own, we suggest locking the device to the MITA app during MITA therapy. It is very easy to lock a device on any app. Please read How can I lock my device so that my child doesn’t get distracted with other apps below.
Is there any benefit in guessing the answer?
The benefits of solving puzzles greatly diminish if a child is relying on trial-and-error as opposed to active mental simulation. Please make sure your child really thinks about the answers instead of guessing. Encourage your child to solve puzzles mentally, and only then drag the answer into position.
My child is using trial-and-error in some games. Should we expect that he will stop the trial-and-error method?
He might. Or he might not. It is just much easier to NOT think.
First, make sure that your child is not tired. Frequent physical beaks in between cognitive tasks is a great way to relax.
Second, make sure that the level is not too hard for your child.
Finally, use smart encouragement. You want to walk a fine line between a game and a cognitive exercise. Don’t punish trial-and error, but celebrate only the answers obtained through cognitive effort.
How will I know how my child is doing?
We are pleased to introduce the MITA Progress Report. This section features a number of parameters to help you track how your child is progressing in his or her therapy. This includes the MITA Achievement Score and the Success Rate metrics, as well as tools to visualize your child’s performance over any time period. To access the Progress Report, tap Parent’s Corner > Progress.
In addition, we ask parents and facilitators to fill out an Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) every 3 months while using MITA. Many parents and teachers use the ATEC to monitor how well a child is doing over time. In addition, researchers have used the ATEC to document improvement following an intervention by comparing the baseline ATEC scores with the post-treatment ATEC scores.
The ATEC is not a diagnostic checklist. It provides several subscale scores as well as a total score to be used for comparison at a later date. Basically, the lower the score, the fewer the problems. Thus, if a person scores a ’20’ during the initial evaluation, and then a ’15’ three months later, then the individual showed improvement.
How long is the MITA app good for?
With consistent usage, a child could complete all MITA games in 5 to 10 years.
What shall I do, if my child reached the maximum level in a game?
Once your child reaches the maximum level and consistently shows understanding at the highest level of a game, the game shall be turned off. MITA will do that automatically, but you can also do it manually.
It is time to focus on more difficult games, such as Arithmetic and Flexible Syntax.
English is not my family’s native language. Can my child still use MITA?
MITA is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, German, French, Italian, Arabic, Farsi, and Chinese.
If MITA is not available in your language, you can still use MITA. Most activities are visual. Verbal games use a dozen or so words that can be learned easily. We are planning to translate MITA into other languages! If you want to help us with translations, please let us know.
CUSTOMIZING MITA THERAPY
My child gets tired and isn’t able to complete a daily MITA path. There are too many games and puzzles before the big PlayTime reward. What can I do?
If you feel your child is struggling with too many puzzles or games before being rewarded with Playtime, you can adjust the # of puzzles and games your child needs to complete in his/her daily session. Simply navigate to Parent’s Corner > Settings to make adjustments.
You can also try the following:
- Allow your child to take physical breaks between puzzles.
- Occasionally supplement MITA’s Playtime with a rewarding activity of your child’s choice.
- Some kids prefer two (or more) shorter sessions dispersed throughout the day instead of one long session.
My child has sensory issues and prefers that MITA sound is OFF. What can I do?
Parent’s Corner > Settings > Switch to PlayTime Settings > Disable Smiley Response.
How can I lock my device so that my child doesn’t get distracted with other apps?
Your child can switch to other apps! If your child discovers easy apps like YouTube, he will likely refuse working with MITA. We recommend locking your device to MITA.
For iPad and iPhone:
- Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap Accessibility > Guided Access. Toggle Guided Access On.
- Tap on Set Passcode and choose a passcode that only you will know. Toggle Accessibility Shortcut to Off.
- Once Guided Access is enabled, if your child tries to leave the app, a banner message will appear telling them to triple-click the Home button to exit. If they don’t know the passcode, they won’t be able to exit Guided Access.
- We also recommend you disable multitasking on your iPad: Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap on General > Multitasking > Turn Off.
For Android smartphone and tablet:
- Launch Settings -> Search -> ‘Pin’.
- Turn ‘Screen Pinning’ (‘Pin Windows’) On.
- Set ‘Use Lock to unpin’ On.
- Specify a Pin.
- To start pining, Open the app, tap the Overview button (square), tap the app icon at the top of the screen -> Pin this app.
- On older devices, tap the Pushpin button in the lower right corner.
- Once enabled, if your child tries to leave the app, a banner message will appear telling them how to exit. If they don’t know the passcode, they won’t be able to exit the app.
For Amazon Kindle Fire:
On Kindle Fire, there is no native ‘Guided Access’ option available.
Please search the app store for ‘Touch lock’ or ‘Guided access’. Download a touch lock app and follow their directions. Download Kids Place – Parental Control
What is the algorithm for game difficulty levels?
To progress to the next level in a game, a child must maintain a Success Rate of over 94% (no more than three errors in ten puzzles).
The game difficulty level is automatically reduced when the Success Rate is below 76% (12 or more errors in ten puzzles).
My child is struggling to finish the MITA path. What should I do?
To make it easier for your child to reach Playtime, please do the following:
- Reduce the number of games in a daily session. You can do so in the pull-down menu at the top of the Settings
- Reduce the number of puzzles that your child must complete for each game to as little as 5 puzzles.
- Eliminate the games that your child is struggling with by unchecking the box to the left of the game’s name. We have arranged the games roughly in the order of difficulty, but please keep in mind that every child will have their own strengths and preferences.
- You can also reduce the difficulty level for any of the games (please note that we discourage that you do this since each game will adapt automatically to the optimal difficulty level).
The MITA path is too easy for my child. What should I do?
To make it more challenging for your child to reach playtime please do the following:
- Increase the number of games your child must play before they reach playtime. You can do that in a pull-down menu at the top of the Settings page.
- Increase the number of puzzles that your child must complete for each game to as many as 20 puzzles.
- Add more difficult games to the child’s daily path, by checking the box to the left of the game’s name. Note that MITA is adaptive and will add all the more difficult games automatically when it concludes that the child is ready.
- You can also increase the difficulty level for any of the games (please note that we discourage that you do this since each game will adapt automatically to the optimal difficulty level).
I have selected the Arithmetic puzzles but the game does not appear on the daily path each day?
To see the Arithmetic game on the daily path every day, please:
- Parent’s Corner > Settings > Choose the number daily games along the path = 12 Games
- Select no more than 12 games from the list. If you select more games from the list, only 12 games will be randomly selected for the path each day.
I am a speech therapist and use MITA with multiple students. Can I create user accounts for multiple students using MITA?
Yes. Go to Parent’s Corner > About > Add / Select Students button on the bottom (requires MITA Premium).
I want to use MITA with more than one child. Can I do that?
Yes. Go to Parent’s Corner > About > Add / Select Students button on the bottom (requires MITA Premium).
TECHNICAL QUESTIONS & TROUBLESHOOTING
Can I transfer my child’s usage data from the old device to the new device?
Yes. During installation on the new device (on the 1st registration screen), enter your registration email and click the ‘Restore Data’ button.
Note that you have to be subscribed to MITA Premium on the old device.
If you forgot you registration email, you can read it from your old device: Parents Corner>Evaluation (bottom of the screen).
Does MITA have user accounts, can I use MITA on two devices?
No. User accounts work well for completely online programs. MITA is an offline program. MITA can be used with no internet connection indefinitely.
There are benefits in both approaches. The main befit of the online approach is easy synchronization of data between multiple devices. The main benefit of the offline approach is independence from servers, which can be intermittent. Based on user feedback, we have concluded that for special children the benefits of the completely offline approach outweigh the benefits of the online approach.
MITA progress data are backed up when internet is available and can be downloaded to a new device during MITA installation. However, if you use two devices concurrently, progress data is not synchronized. Accordingly, we recommend using a single tablet device for a child.
How to change my answers in the evaluation?
Your evaluation answers are not saved until you tap the SEND button at the end of the evaluation.
To change your response to a question before you tap the SEND button, please tap the back button in the lower left corner of the evaluation screen and go back to the question you want to change.
The app has no sound! What can I do?
If MITA has no sound, do the following:
- Move the ring/silent switch into the ring mode. (The app is muted by iOS in the silent mode). If your iPad does not have a ring/silent switch, swipe down from the top right of the iPad screen to open the Control Center. Tap on the Bell icon to turn the silent mode off.
If there is no Bell icon in the Control Center, add the Bell icon: Settings -> Control Center -> More Controls -> Add a control -> Silent Mode (the Bell icon). Then open the Control Center. Tap on the Bell icon to turn the silent mode off. (The crossed bell on the white background indicates the silent mode.)
- Use the sound volume buttons to increase the device volume.
- Turn sound on inside MITA app by toggling ON the sound button in the top right corner of the home screen.
MITA freezes and won’t load onto the next screen. What can I do?
Try restarting your device and open MITA again.
ANDROID USERS: STORAGE PERMISSION IS NECESSARY FOR THE APP!
During installation select YES when asked “Allow the app to access photos, media, and files on your device?”
If you have already installed MITA, go to Device Settings/Device/Applications/Applications manager; Scroll to the MITA app / Permissions; Set the Storage permission On.
How to update MITA?
Please search for MITA in your app store and click the update button. If you don’t see the update button, you likely have the latest version. Note, that sometimes an update button takes as long as 3 days after a new version of MITA becomes available. In this case, please wait until you see the update button. Do not delete the app as it will delete all data associated with MITA including game settings and your child’s progress report.
Email Registration: tapping on the email field does not open the keyboard
Change the navigation button settings from ‘gesture’ to keys/buttons.
I am a researcher. Can I use MITA in my clinical trials?
Please contact us and we can discuss your specific needs.
Are there any physical games for cognitive development that you can recommend that are well-suited for children with ASD?
Here are several physical games that we highly recommend:
- Day & Night
- Color Code
- Chocolate Fix Board Game
- hinkFun Rush Hour
- Swish Junior Card Game
- Set: The Family Game of Visual Perception
- SmartGames Bunny Peek a Boo
How can I connect with other parents and families who are using MITA with their kids?
Please post you comments and questions on the MITA Discussion Board on Reddit.
What is the difference between MITA and MITA premium?
MITA is free:
✔ All most important games are free.
✔ All levels in free games are free.
✔ Free games provide about 10 years of therapy.
MITA Premium adds:
✔ Additional language and cognitive exercises.
✔ Additional PlayTime activities.
✔ Ability to add multiple students.
✔ Ability to request development of a new activities and features.
✔ Your progress data and settings are backed up in the cloud and can be restored on a new device.
ImagiRation is developing MITA independently. We do not have any sources of support except MITA users like you. If you like MITA please consider subscribing to MITA Premium.
How do I pay my MITA tuition?
Tuition is processed by your app store where you have downloaded MITA as a subscription.
I have purchased the premium version through my app store, but the app still does not have the premium features unlocked.
1. Try restarting the device.
2. If restarting the device did not help, purchase the subscription again, maybe the first time the transaction did not go through. Your app store cannot charge you twice for the same subscription.
Can subscription be shared between devices?
Subscription can only be shared between devices, if the devices use the same app store account (the same Apple ID or the same Google Play account). From our end, we cannot add, cancel, or move subscription between devices. All subscription transactions are between you and your app store. App stores do not even send us subscription receipts.
How can I cancel my subscription on an Android device?
- To unsubscribe, navigate to your Google Play Store app.
- Tap the hamburger menu button in the top left corner and select “Subscriptions.”
- Find and tap on the app. You will be navigated to the apps “Manage subscription” page.
- At the bottom of this page, tap “Cancel Subscription.”
- In the pop-up screen, select the reason you want to cancel and then tap “Continue.”
- Confirm your cancellation by tapping “Cancel Subscription.” Your subscription should now be canceled.
How can I cancel my subscription on an Apple device?
- Launch the Settings app.
- Tap iTunes & App Store.
- Tap on the top line that says: “Apple ID: ***********@mail.com”.
- On the pop-up screen, tap View Apple ID.
- Enter your Apple ID password or fingerprint ID when prompted.
- Tap Subscriptions.
- Tap the Subscription you want to cancel.
All subscription transactions are between you and your app store. App stores do not even send us subscription receipts. If you need a refund, please contact your app store. We have no physical ability to process refunds.