The VAST Song 1 - Intro app and the VAST Autism 1 - Core app are very different from the typical speech therapy apps. They do not focus on specific sounds. Their target audience is functioning at a nonverbal or minimally verbal level. These are the apps you're going to want to reach for when you have a student who is not responding to traditional speech therapy methods. Specific populations that come to mind are children with Autism, children with severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and children with TBI affecting speech.
VAST Autism 1 - Core iPhone / iPad App
The VAST Autism app is focused on practicing functional spoken scripts at syllable, simple word, multi-syllable word, phrase, and sentence levels. Once you choose the level appropriate for the child you are working with, you choose the specific script you want the child to learn. Then the child begins by simply watching and listening to a close-up video of an adult speaking that script slowly and clearly (yet with fairly natural intonation).
The videos stimulate both auditory and visual pathways in the brain. They also allow for simultaneous production which is known to stimulate speech production. The slightly slower production paired with relatively natural intonation also helps facilitate success. The app includes good choices of stimuli. For example, the syllable level includes: mama, papa, moo moo, boo boo, baa baa, beep beep, peep peep, da da, pop pop, la la, Weeee, and Ooooo. These are nice, simple reduplicated syllables using simple consonants and vowels. The levels progess logically from simple reduplicated syllables, to one-syllable words, multi-syllable words, phrases, and then sentences. As the productions get more complex, the stimuli choices focus on functional scripts. For example, some of the sentence level stimuli are: " I need to use the bathroom.", "I am thirsty.", "I am hungry.", and "I need a break.".
Bottom LineThis is an app that consists entirely of carefully chosen stimulus videos. It is accessibly priced at $4.99. If you work with students who are minimally verbal and are not yet responding to therapy targeting specific phonemes this app might be very useful for you. If you do not have any non-verbal or minimally verbal children on your caseload you would probably find little use for this app.
VAST Songs 1 - Intro iPhone / iPad App
The VAST Songs app is a set of videos that show a close-up of either a male of female singer singing one of 10 songs. These videos are useful during therapy because they provide both auditory and visual stimuli and they also stimulate the pathways in the brain involved in music. Research has shown that the rhythm and melody involved in music can often help stimulate speech production. Alternately, they could be used during carryover practice in more traditional articulation therapy (Yankee Doodle for /k/, for example.)