{Please Be Kind} Autism Acceptance Month 2017

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As we are on the verge of heading into April, I wanted to post a request to those of you who follow my OMazing Kids blog, Facebook page, AppPeeps Facebook Group & other social media sites. I would like to keep this a safe place free from the crankiness that sometimes occurs this time of year:

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  •  Please be kind.

It is not helpful or encouraging to leave rude comments on my Facebook page or social media sites. Everything I post is done in an attempt to provide helpful information.

Not all AAC or therapy app developers choose to offer app sales or may only offer them in certain countries. That is their choice and may be due to expenses they have incurred in keeping an app updated, licensing fees for premium voices and symbols, pricing laws in foreign countries and royalties that Apple takes from sales.

I am NOT the developer of any of the apps that I post about so therefore have no control over pricing decisions. If you have concerns or questions, please contact that app developer directly via Facebook messaging on their page or by e-mail. Most AAC app developers have a Facebook users group for that app so you can also ask questions or leave feedback there. They will not see feedback made via comments here on my page.

I have never monetized my blog or social media sites and therefore have no plans to pay to promote posts. So please don’t leave cranky comments if you miss a sale. I cross post on my AppPeeps group and several other groups when I see really great apps that are either free or on sale to help spread the word. But I work full time as a SLP and do not have time to recheck prices throughout the day and then update posts. If you notice that an app sale has ended, feel free to leave a comment about that on a post but please word it in a kind way.

Please check app prices before downloading. I verify app prices in the USA App Store at the time of the post. If I have received details from an app developer regarding dates of a sale and what countries it will be available in, I will include them in the post. Otherwise, I have no way to know how long an app will be on sale and pricing or availability in other countries. Prices are different in every country based on the exchange rate.

App prices can change very rapidly so it is wise to take the initiative to go check pages frequently that announce app deals and then download what you want quickly.

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  •  Please do not post cranky comments about app developers not caring about other disabilities.

They are generously offering app sales during April as part of Autism Acceptance & Awareness Month. These same app developers often offer sales at other times of the year and there are no rules saying your child has to have this diagnosis to get the app on sale.

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  • Please be mindful and respectful of each others opinions.

Despite what is reported in mainstream media, not everyone wants to “light it up blue”, be represented by a puzzle piece, loves Julia the new Sesame Street character, wants to find a cure, supports Autism Speaks, believes in “people first” language or wants an Autism Awareness day or month. Some do and that’s fine. But there is a growing community of those who do not. I invite you to read blogs and posts on Autism Acceptance and Neurodiversity to broaden your perspective. I have done so and it totally changed the way I practice and post as a SLP.

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Thanks in advance for keeping OMazing Kids a safe and kind place 💕
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

{Book Review} Talk With Me! The Big Book of Exclamations 2 by Teri Kaminski-Peterson, MS, CCC-SLP

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{Book Review} Talk With Me! The Big Book of Exclamations 2 by Teri Kaminski-Peterson, MS, CCC-SLP

The colorful digital illustrations on six 2-page spreads depict diverse families in daily routines and common settings:

  • bedroom / waking up
  • kitchen / mealtime
  • front yard / time to go
  • park / birthday party and playing on playground
  • bathroom / bathtime and brushing teeth
  • bedroom / bedtime

Instead of a story to read, each 2 page spread has words near each item and ideas for targeting specific early developing gestures, sounds, words, and phrases. The book also contains tips for using the book at the beginning and information at the end regarding typical speech & language development and what to do if you have concerns about your child’s skills.

My thoughts: Although most experienced SLPs may already know how to modify reading of picture books in this fashion, this book would provide great inspiration for new SLPs and for parents looking for ways to use picture books to enhance early developing speech & language skills. It is well worth the price and highly recommended for those individuals.  Given the targeted age range, it would be nice to see a board book version offered that would stand up well to repeated use in therapy sessions and self-exploration by toddlers. I’m very careful with my books in therapy so this has not been an issue for me but is something to consider when using books with very young children.

Purchase:

My suggestion is to compare all your options, including shipping costs, to determine the best deal.

The author also offers a two-sided laminated placemat of scenes from the kitchen & park for $5.00 + shipping.

Website: http://chatterboxbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Big-Book-of-Exclamations-299776487030/

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

Two Fun Books for SLPs: When a Dragon Moves In & When a Dragon Moves in Again by Jodi Moore

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I love using fabulous kids picture books in my work as a Speech-Language Pathologist! I have well over a thousand of them and have them organized by themes in tubs and on bookshelves at home. It’s fun to swap out the books in the basket at work for the activities & themes I have planned that week.  I especially like books that are a “fun read” either because of the rhyming text or the hilarious story line. Here are two recent additions to my collection that fit in the “hilarious story line” category:

When a Dragon Moves In

I love the colorful illustrations (even the end sheets are fully illustrated), imaginative story, and lots of opportunities for spatial concepts, adjectives, verbs, and interpreting pictured events from different perspectives.

Peek inside the book: http://www.flashlightpress.com/flipbooks/dragonFlipbook/Default.html

Book reading:

Building a Story is Like Building a Sandcastle – A Parent/Teacher Guide for using When a Dragon Moves Into introduce the components of a story: http://www.flashlightpress.com/files/Building_a_Story_is_Like_Building_a_Sandcastle.pdf

Draw a Sandcastle free printable: http://www.flashlightpress.com/files/Draw_Sandcastle.pdf

Visualization activity & free printable: http://dailylearningtothecore.blogspot.co.il/2013/05/mentor-text-when-dragon-moves-in.html?showComment=1367776162621

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When a Dragon Moves In Again

This sequel has colorful illustrations (even the end sheets are fully illustrated), imaginative story, and lots of opportunities for spatial concepts, adjectives, verbs, and expected vs. unexpected behavior and feelings when a new baby joins the family.

Peek inside the book: http://www.flashlightpress.com/flipbooks/dragonagainFlipbook/Default.html

(I couldn’t find a good video of the book being read aloud but the peek inside the book on the publisher’s website will give you an idea of what it’s like)

Can you find? free printable: http://www.flashlightpress.com/files/Can_You_Find2.pdf

 

More activities for both books: http://www.flashlightpress.com/Activity_Guides.html

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

{App Review} Signed Stories apps

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{App Review} Signed Stories apps

I am loving the combination of sign language with books and fun activities to aide in sign language learning! The apps are very well designed and have several options to customize them for your needs. Take look at this video for a peek at them:

All books include:
• high definition animated stories
• expert American Sign Language translations for deaf and non-verbal children
• clear narration, sound effects and specially-commissioned music to entertain and educate hearing children
• captions which can be customized by size, color contrast and font style to make reading easier for children and adults with dyslexia
• the option to select any combination of sign language, captions and audio
• a vocabulary builder and two interactive language learning games to teach children functional and high frequency words

The app developer has made a very wise choice in offering paid versions of the apps that include everything without any in app purchases (IAP). This makes it possible for schools and other state run facilities to purchase them.

Here are the two apps that I received to review:

* Signed Stories Book Bundle #3 for Schools by ITV Broadcasting Limited, https://appsto.re/us/fIE6U.i, $19.99 (includes 8 books – all included without any IAPs; each book is also available at the price listed below as an IAP within their free app). My fave is “Driving My Tractor” which I also as a book + CD so it’s cool to have a sign language enhanced version. The classic stories included in this bundle provide lots of opportunities for language with repeated lines.

– Hickory Dickory Dock .99
– Driving My Tractor $5.99
– Head Shoulder Knees and Toes $3.99
– Five Little Speckled Frogs .99
– Twinkle Twinkle Little Star .99
– Rock a Bye Baby .99
– First Time Nursery $3.99
– You and Me $2.99

* Signed Stories – Weather and Seasons Book Bundle by ITV Broadcasting Limited, https://appsto.re/us/oX_neb.i, $17.99 (includes 8 books – all included without any IAPs; each book is also available at the price listed below as an IAP within their free app). I have several patients who have a high interest in weather so these stories have been a hit with them 😃

– Spring $2.99
– Sun $1.99
– Rain $1.99
– Snow $1.99
– Wind $1.99
– Winter $2.99
– Fall $2.99
– Summer $2.99
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They also offer a free app that includes one book and then more are available as IAPs. Some parents may prefer this option. I also noticed they have quite a few books that are only available as IAPs. The free app with IAPs: Signed Stories by ITV Broadcasting Limited, https://appsto.re/us/ByX1G.i

Website: http://www.signedstories.com/apps

Social media sites:
* https://www.facebook.com/ITVSignedStories
* https://twitter.com/SignedStories

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

No-Prep “Grab & Go” Activity for Core Vocabulary & Language: Play-Doh Rowdy the Garbage Truck and the book Trashy Town (includes free printable symbols and coloring page)

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Looking for a No Prep “Grab & Go” activity that has lots of opportunities for targeting core vocabulary, following directions, sequencing, adjectives, verbs, expanding utterances & more?  

I have several patients who have a passion for garbage trucks and anything related to them ….. funny but true. So I use the book “Trashy Town” frequently in OMazing Kids speech therapy. Look who arrived to join Mr. Gilley the Trashman…. It’s Rowdy the Garbage Truck Play-Doh set 😃.

Oh my goodness! This was hilarious to use in OMazing Kids speech therapy this week. We laughed so hard as it shot PlayDoh bugs, fish bones & rats out the back. Several kids with very short attention maintained joint attention for over 5 minutes. Lots of spontaneous uses of: in, go, out, more, open, close, up, down, squish, drive, sticky, eww!, look!, bugs, trash, worms, etc. Here’s a short video to give you a peek at the Play-Doh Rowdy the Trash Truck. It’s an older toy but still available on Amazon. Also saw several on eBay.

In case you missed it, I made these free printable symbols to go with it:

Free Printable Symbols: Anytime I get a toy like this I immediately create symbols to go with it and store them in the lid of the storage container so it is a “No Prep – Grab & Go” activity. I use them both as PECS symbols and also as visual supports for language and expanding utterances.

Here is a free printable of the symbols that I made.
https://www.boardmakeronline.com/Activity/13142773

I’m including a PDF version for those who don’t have access to Boardmaker:

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Free printable Trashy Town coloring page:

 

If you don’t have the book Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha, take a look at this video. It’s always a fave:

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Fun free Garbage Truck song:

http://www.nancymusic.com/SOM/2011/garbage-truck.htm

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A garbage truck music video:

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And garbage truck themed apps:

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

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{Please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I have no control over any ads nor do I profit from them}

 

{App Reviews} Play Apps for SLPs: Pepi Super Stores, Sago Mini Puppy Preschool & Montessori Nature

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{App Reviews} Play Apps for SLPs: Pepi Super Stores, Sago Mini Puppy Preschool & Montessori Nature

I love finding ways to use well designed kids play based apps to target goals in OMazing Kids speech therapy! The process of doing this is very similar to picking traditional toys to use in therapy. The key is to know what goals you want to target and then pick the materials (or in this case apps) to address them. Some additional considerations for picking good apps include looking for ones with the following features: clean intuitive interface, high quality graphics, voiceovers and sounds with the ability to toggle off background music, no ads, any external links are secured in a parental info area and allows for open-ended exploration.

Here are three new apps that I recently added to my collection. Here are features that make them useful for SLPs:

* Pepi Super Stores by Pepi Play, https://appsto.re/us/05sChb.i, $2.99

Has 12 areas (food court with burgers, Asian food, ice cream, pizza; sporting goods, music store, clothes, jewelry, hair salon, photo booth, grocery store & parking garage) in a shopping mall with numerous opportunities for making choices, describing, spatial concepts, compare/contrast, etc. I love the diverse mix of quirky characters. Things that could be improved in a future update: hide / secure the “new app” info to the grown-ups stuff area or add a way to toggle it off in the iPad settings area & add option to toggle off the music on the home screen (it fades out as soon as you enter the stores but still would be nice to be able to toggle it off)

* Sago Mini Puppy Preschool by Sago Sago, https://appsto.re/us/aXbQfb.i, $2.99

Features 10 puppies with four activity areas targeting counting, shapes, colors and music. It is fun to compare/contrast the various puppies and to target language goals as you play with them. I appreciate that all Sago Mini apps allow you to toggle off the “Sago News” (link to new apps) and the “For Parents” sections in the iPad settings area.

See this post for a picture of the puppies. I use this as a visual support for one of my patients with Autism who has a high interest with knowing the names of characters:

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* Montessori Nature by EDOKI ACADEMY, https://appsto.re/us/6wyBdb.i, $2.99

The app offers a realistic environment in which kids have to plant, nurture, harvest, and sell their crop. Just as real gardening would take time, it takes awhile to go through the process of planting all the way to selling the crops. This app would be fun to incorporate into a gardening theme and could be used in small chunks over several sessions.
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

{App Review} Flexible Speech USA articulation app

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{App Review} Flexible Speech USA by Flexible Speech Pty. Ltd

iOS Universal app (works on iPad, iPhone or iPod: https://appsto.re/us/FCqV_.i, free trial, $9.99 IAP to unlock ongoing access

Info on how to use the app and more screenshots: http://www.flexiblespeech.com

* 11 Difficulty levels from syllable level to long sentence level
– Level 1: Sound combinations (CV+VC)
– Level 2: CVC words
– Level 3: 2 syllable words
– Level 4: 3+ syllable words
– Level 5: Mixed words
– Level 6: Clusters (blends)
– Level 7: Two word combinations
– Level 8: 3-4 word combinations
– Level 9: 5-6 word combinations
– Level 10: 7-8 word combinations
– Level 11: Clusters (blends) in sentences

* Choose from 22 single sounds and 20 sets of consonant clusters (blends)
* Initial, medial & final positions
* In app video and voice recording options
* Voiceovers and images can be customized

What I liked about the app:
* nice large color photos on a plain background
* quality voiceovers
* the ability to customize items with your own photos and voiceovers
* options to do voice recordings and video recordings and replay each
* how the app is broken down into 11 levels. Especially helpful when helping kids work on articulation beyond the 2 word phrase level. Many other apps have too big of a leap from phrases to very long sentences. This app provides several levels between the two. This feature will be the main reason I use and recommend this app.
* the app calculates a % correct (write it down or take a screenshot since the data is not stored)
* that they offer a free short term trial of the app

FYI…. The app does not currently offer features that some SLPs may be accustomed to (ex: a way to set up multiple users, e-mail results, store data to be compared over time or include a matching game) but I would not necessarily expect those features in an app priced at $9.99 especially since this particular app offers so much content broken down into 11 levels.

Wishes for future app update (have been given to the app developer who indicated that they are planning an update to incorporate them in a couple of months):
* make the icons for the “try again” and “undo” buttons a little more intuitive. The circular arrows are used to score an incorrect response / try again and the minus sign is used to undo a scoring error. In my opinion it would be easier to score if the correct & incorrect / try again buttons were both on the right side of the screen with one below the other.
* add option to do CVs & VCs separately from each other. It would also be nice for CVs and VCs that happen to be real words to have a picture of that word instead of the fluffy monster picture. I am planning on using the customization option to do this.
* add option to select specific types of vocalic /r/ instead of having them all r variations mixed together
* add the ability to upload a photo from the Camera Roll in addition to taking a photo when customizing the app
* add a way to clear out previous voice and video recordings (since the app doesn’t have a way to set up multiple users it will be helpful to be able to clear out these recordings without having to delete and reinstall the app)

Their social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flexispeech
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/flexispeech

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.