Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Speech Therapy for Apraxia by NACD - iPad App

Speech Therapy for Apraxia iPad App by NACD and Blue Whale App Development: A Review

I purchased this app in order to evaluate it. It is very reasonably priced in the app store for only $4.99.

Detailed Description

Blue Whale is offering their Speech Therapy for Apraxia iPad app for $4.99 at the app store. I find the app to be rather soothing and visually appealing as did my children. The pictures are sweet and the interface is simple. Let's look at what the app does in more detail.

This app allows you to work with one group of phonemes at a time. /b/, /p/, and /m/ are grouped together. /d/, /n/, and /t/ are grouped together. /g/, /k/, and /h/ are grouped together. /w/ is on its own. /f/ and /v/ are grouped. /s/ and /z/ are grouped. /sh/, /ch/, and /J/ are grouped. Finally,, /l/ and /r/ are grouped. They are grouped roughly by developmental sequence and place of articulation. I particularly like the simple, just thorough enough, and easily understandable explanations on the options screens.

Once you've chosen your phoneme set, you are taken to a screen that lets you choose a difficulty level. There are eight difficulty levels that progress in a very logical manner from level one (still CV syllables, but presented in groups of five with a variety of vowels and pulling from two sets of consonants rather than one).

That's it. Once you've made those two choices (consonant group and initial difficulty level) the practice session begins. The stimuli appear on the page. They are a mix of nonsense syllables and real words.

Very young children will have trouble learning the nonsense CV combinations even though the developers make each two letter combination a unique font/color which is a nice touch. However, if the child cannot say the syllable spontaneously, all they have to do is tap on it to hear a model. The child repeats all the syllables and then swipes their finger to move to a new page of randomly chosen (within the structure of the difficulty level) stimuli. When they reach the end of the stimuli the final page allows the therapist to choose to repeat the same difficulty level or to move on to the next.

The program does not track data at all. There is no mechanism for data tracking and therefore keeping track of separate students is unnecessary. It is purely a simple, elegant method of practicing at the syllable level with severely apraxic children.

My 3 1/2 year old daughter was easily able to "play" this speech game independently. I see it as having a place in a therapy room. It would allow you to have one child happily drilling productions while you work with another child individually before switching. At $4.99 it is a very reasonable program to recommend to parents as well

Pros, Cons, and Bottom Line

If you have any children at all on your caseload who need drill at the CV level, this app is a great deal. It is perfect for introducing a new phoneme to apraxic children. It would be great practice for a phonological process or artic child who is struggling to learn a new consonant in initial position.

This app is extremely comprehensive in what it does: CV syllables in an increasing hierarchy of difficulty. They've included pictures of real words where possible and made the visual cues unique when a real picture did not apply.

Here's my bottom line. If you ever need to drill at the syllable level and you like incorporating iPad work into your speech room grab this app. At the price, it will be worth every penny. If you rarely work at the CV level and prefer to skip straight to simple CV, VC, and CVC real words than you won't find anything useful in this app.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! I'm constantly looking for apps to use in therapy (kids love the novelty of the iPad).

    Talking With Rebecca


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