{New App} Looking for an easy way to make choice boards? Check out the brand new Make A Choice AAC app by pkclSoft

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{New App} Looking for an easy way to make choice boards? Check out the brand new Make A Choice AAC app by pkclSoft

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The app was developed to meet a need expressed by a parent of a child with special needs to be able to quickly create choice boards on the go. I enjoyed helping with beta testing and used it today to quickly prep for a cookie decorating activity we have on Monday. Unique features include the “Pick a Choice Board” area where you can tap on a pic to open that board, the ability to copy/paste pics into the app and the ability to reuse buttons in new boards. I like that it has a plain black background and that there is a lot of space between the buttons. Busy SLPs and parents will appreciate the value of this inexpensive and user friendly app. It would make a great stocking stuffer this Christmas 🎄
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Purchase it on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/make-a-choice-aac-buttons/id1295966224?mt=8, $4.99 in the USA App Store (prices vary elsewhere based on the exchange rate)
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See examples and “how to” videos on their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/AppMakeAChoice
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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 (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
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 28 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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{Book Review + Free Printables for AAC Core Vocabulary} Mouse by Zebo Ludvicek

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I may also program a page for this book in the TouchChat with WordPower 60 Basic pageset since it has templates for early childhood books.
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{Book Review} Hoot and Peep: A Song for Snow by Lita Judge

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I’m a huge fan of Lita’s books so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this new one. Here’s what I LOVE about it:
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  • Gorgeous rich illustrations in deep calming colors.
  • Great message of being patient, waiting and enjoying silence.
  • Large easy to read text on each 2-page spread. I love that some pages have minimal text so the focus can be on the details in the illustrations.
  • Peep’s sounds are fun for kids to attempt to imitate (ploppety splop, swish swoooooo, scrrinkle scrattle, schweepity peep, chickity choot, hoooo, scwheeee, thwump, etc….).
  • As an added bonus, there are a few opportunities for kids yoga activities based on the illustrations and text: owl, rooftop partners, star, crescent moon, blowing wind breath, tree, squirrel, bird, mouse, snowflake, self hug, etc.

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See a few pages from the book: https://www.litajudge.net/a-song-for-snow-inside-the-book/

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Available for purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Song-Snow-Hoot-Peep/dp/1101994517/

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Free printable coloring pages: 

http://www.penguin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ASongForSnow_ColoringPagespdf-1.pdf

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Free printable story props that I made to go with the book:

 

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Another fun snowy owl coloring page: https://www.redtedart.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Owl_Single_A4.compressed.pdf

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See my review for the first book in the series at: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/04/10/omazing-kids-book-review-hoot-and-peep-by-lita-judge/

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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 (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
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 28 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} Yoga for Speech-Language Development by Susan Longtin and Jessica Fitzpatrick

 

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Description:

Combining years of experience as certified speech-language pathologists and as qualified yoga teachers, the authors of this pioneering book explain how yoga can be used to aid speech-language development in children up to age 12.

The book includes a range of yoga-based exercises for improving pre-linguistic communication, vocabulary development and motor planning for speech. The text is enriched by illustrations of children in each yoga pose, so no prior experience of yoga is necessary to help children carry out each activity. The book also provides information on using this approach with children with neurodevelopmental and intellectual disabilities, including ADHD and autism.

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Table of Contents:

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Product details:

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Singing Dragon (March 21, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848192584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848192584
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches

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Available for purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Speech-Language-Development-Susan-Longtin/dp/1848192584

Publisher: https://www.jkp.com/usa/yoga-for-speech-language-development-34846.html

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A sneak peek inside the book:

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What I liked about this book:

  • Includes info about the benefits of the six categories of yoga poses
  • Includes references to research regarding the benefits of yoga for children
  • Descriptions of what yoga classes might look like for various age groups and special needs
  • Illustrations and descriptions for some kids yoga poses, breathing and activities
  • How yoga can be used for different areas commonly addressed by speech-language pathologists (prelinguistic communication: eye gaze, reciprocity, gestures; breath support; following directions; syllable structures; vocabulary; verbs; spatial concepts; symbolic play; use of themes; early literacy; etc.)
  • Lists of yoga resources (excited to see OMazing Kids mentioned twice in the book 🙂 )

This book does a very nice job of explaining the “why” behind incorporating kids yoga into your work as a SLP with a little of the “how to” sprinkled in. The authors do a nice job of sharing resources to get more info about the “how to do” kids yoga. The only info I felt was missing from this book was  contraindications for specific yoga poses or yoga breathing or at least mention that there are some. It is very important for therapists to be aware of any medical conditions that a child may have and what poses or yoga breathing you should avoid related to those conditions. Unfortunately this info is often not published due to the risk of being sued. Of course no list could ever cover every condition that your patients might have. I learned about contraindications in two different courses and through researching it online. I have created a list based on that but it’s not published on my blog for these same liability concerns. But I am glad to share it with any SLP who contacts me. The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging on my OMazing Kids page (see link below)

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Want more info about the therapeutic uses of kids yoga?

I have handouts posted from three presentations that I have done: https://omazingkidsllc.com/category/handouts/

See more about how I incorporate yoga into my work as a SLP: https://omazingkidsllc.com/how-do-i-incorporate-kids-yoga-into-therapy/

Other resources on my blog:

https://omazingkidsllc.com/books-dvds-cds-specifically-designed-for-kids-yoga-or-mindfulness/

https://omazingkidsllc.com/yoga-props-toys/

https://omazingkidsllc.com/music/

https://omazingkidsllc.com/2012/07/07/222-books-for-kids-yoga-a-resource-list-from-omazing-kids-yoga-updated-7-7-12/

https://omazingkidsllc.com/research-roundup/

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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 (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
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 28 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.

Top Tips for Picking a Tablet and Case for SLPs

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Top Tips for Picking a Tablet and Case for SLPs

  •  Invest in an iPad with the most memory that you can afford.
  • Most therapy and AAC apps are large and you cannot add memory to an iPad later.
  • Apple has a history of dropping support for older devices. So it is best to get a model that is no more than one year old.
  • Don’t get an Android tablet. There are very few good therapeutic or AAC apps for Android tablets and the few that do exist are not updated as often as the iOS version of that app.
  • My most recent purchase was a 2016 iPad Pro 9.7″ with 256GB memory.
  • I specifically wanted a Pro for the four speakers for AAC and playing music in a group. I went with the 9.7” size since it fit in a Gripcase with handles on all sides.
  • If you don’t need the extra speakers, then I recommend the 2017 iPad with 128GB memory.
  • Steer clear of the iPad Air 2 (history of glitchiness)

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Be sure to also invest in a good protective case for your new iPad. My personal favorite case is the Gripcase (original style with a handle on all sides). It’s what I have on my new iPad Pro 9.7″ (just needed a little modification with an Exacto knife to carve out two extra speaker openings and a larger opening for the rear facing camera), two iPad Air 1s and an iPad Mini 2. They are lightweight, easy to grab and go and are protective. I’ve had my oldest iPads in those cases for 5 years and have never had an iPad damaged with heavy use all day every day in therapy. I also love the Gripbase stand. Unfortunately they don’t offer their case for all of the various sizes and models of iPads. If you can’t get a Gripcase, then look at a Big Grips Lift case. If neither of those are available, then look on Amazon for a similar style of case but pay close attention to reviews to see the track record for that case being protective.

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Note: My recommendations for specific iPad models and cases may change in the future based on the best available options at that point in time. Feel free to send me a message on my OMazing Kids Facebook Page if you have questions 😃

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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.

{Review & Song Giveaway} Peace for the Children: Yoga, Story, Dance and Mantra Music for Children by Sydney Solis at Storytime Yoga

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Check out this fun new addition to my OMazing Kids yoga music collection! I especially love The Golden Fish Song with it’s “islandy” vibe.

Peace for the Children: Yoga, Story, Dance and Mantra Music for Children by Sydney Solis at Storytime Yoga

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Includes 13 tracks:

  • The Namaste Song
  • The Breathe it In, Breathe it Out Song
  • The Breathing Song
  • The Sun Salutation Chant
  • The Nursery Rhyme Body Jam
  • The Skeleton’s Ball
  • The Golden Fish
  • A Jingo a Jango
  • The Croc ‘n’ Monkey Rap
  • I Am Love
  • Love & Peace & Happiness
  • Chumba la Cachumba The Skeleton’s Ball – Spanish Version
  • The Golden Fish II

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I loved reading the stories behind the songs: http://www.storytimeyoga.com/the-story-of-storytime-yogas-peace-for-the-children-kids-yoga-dance-and-story-music/.

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Available for purchase:

CD Baby (MP3 or CD): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/sydneysolis2

Amazon (streaming, MP3 or CD): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BUKQI18

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/storytime-yoga-peace-for-the-children/id1084727485

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Giveaway:

Sydney generously sent 4 free download codes for The Golden Fish Song single song on CD Baby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/sydneysolis3/TheGoldenFishSong

I will be sharing those codes over in a post on my OMazing Kids Facebook page so head on over to “like” and “follow” so you’ll see the giveaway post: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga/

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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: https://m.facebook.com/msg/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.

{App Review} Reading Train series of apps – great for early literacy and targeting core vocabulary for AAC

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Looking for high quality apps specifically designed for early readers? To go with classroom themes? Or to target core vocabulary for kids using AAC? Then check out the well designed series of apps by Libby Curran, an award winning teacher, at The Reading Train. Of course these apps will need to be on a separate device than the one being used for AAC.

Reading Train Full STEAM Ahead Books, Songs, Games by The Learning Station, LLC
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-train-full-steam-ahead-books-songs-games/id962171685?mt=8, $19.99

• over 200 books organized into 10 categories (story park, colors, shapes, numbers, animals, animal groups, creature features (body parts), life science, physical science & earth and space). The inclusion of science STEAM topics in early readers will be particularly helpful for those of us looking for age respectful resources to use with older patients/students who are still at an early reader level.
• Levels A, B & C. It’s great to have these levels within early readers so you can start off very easy and work up in small steps.
• listen, read and record modes
• tap and hold to have a word highlighted and read to you
• built in picture word dictionary with over 450 words. This area can be sorted alphabetically or by categories/subcategories. I’ve used this dictionary area to help teach kids vocabulary and simple definitions.
• 20 songs
• set up unlimited number of users
• fun train game at the end of each book
• high quality voiceovers and music
• nice graphics and large font against a plain white background
• can easily toggle off the intro song on the home screen
• intuitive app interface
• secured parent/teacher area

Just a few examples of Core Vocabulary in these books:

* Here & come: Level A – Colors – The Gray Book, Blue Vehicle Book

* Is: Level A – Colors – The White Book, The Red Book

* See: Level A – Colors – The Green Book, The Yellow Book

* Look: Level A – Colors – The Black Book, The Orange Animal Book

* Like: Level A – Colors – The Pink Book, The Purple Book

* Am: Level A – Colors – The Brown Book

(Free lite version to try before you buy: Reading Train Starter Books, Songs & Quizzes by The Learning Station, LLC, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-train-starter-books-songs-quizzes/id702227884?mt=8)

They also offer an app specifically geared towards the earliest readers: Reading Train – My First Books, Songs & Games by The Learning Station, LLC, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-train-my-first-books-songs-games/id1201673979?mt=8, $19.99

It is similar to their first app but has over 140 books. Most are also found in the first app but there are 4 categories unique to this app: ABC, animal homes, story town & story land.

Their third app has 72 books with a sole focus on the alphabet themed books. Alphabet Park is the same as the ABC section in the Reading Train – My First Books app. But this app also offers level 2 (Alphabet Town) and level 3 (Alphabet Land) sections that are unique to this app. It also contains a picture word dictionary and the section of 20 songs. Reading Train: Alphabet Books, Songs & Games by The Learning Station, LLC, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-train-alphabet-books-songs-games/id903741015?mt=8, $3.99

(Free lite version to try before you buy: Reading Train Free Alphabet Books, Songs & Games by The Learning Station, LLC, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-train-free-alphabet-books-songs-games/id957316999?mt=8)

They also offer a Christmas themed app: Reading Train Christmas Books, Songs & Games by The Learning Station, LLC, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-train-christmas-books-songs-games/id1056021768?mt=8, $1.99

See the app developer’s website for more info about the apps and how to use them: http://www.readingtrain.org

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Wishes for future updates for all of the apps in this series:
• add the ability to adjust the length of time a user has to tap and hold to have a word highlighted and read aloud.
• add the option for auto page turning when a book is in “listen” mode

The FAQ section on their website indicates that they have plans for this. These features would make the app more special needs friendly.

It would also be nice to have a couple of songs added that would be more interesting to older users who are still functioning at an early reader level.
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/readingbuds
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Note: Prices are from the USA App Store at the time this review was posted. App prices can vary greatly over time. You can search for the pricing history on any app on the AppShopper website. Prices will vary outside of the USA based on the exchange rate. This post does not contain affiliate links and I do not get paid to post reviews about 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: https://www.facebook.com/messages/174264525957894
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.