Archive for March, 2016

2016 Autism Awareness Month: AAC App Sale Roundup & Tips

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Here is a round up of the AAC app sales that have been announced so far for Autism Awareness Month. I have been announcing them in individual posts on my OMazing Kids Facebook page but thought a post listing them all might be helpful. AAC app sales are pretty rare. So this is a great opportunity to get an app that you have been considering:

FYI…
* Always verify an app price BEFORE purchasing it. App prices often change at 10:00pm CST (adjust for your time zone) but can change at any time without any notice.
* These app sales and prices will be in the USA App Store. Some apps may be on sale in other countries but I have no means of verifying that since I only have access to the USA App Store.
* If you plan on purchasing an app during a sale, it is wise to get it early in the sale to insure you don’t miss the sale pricing.
* Occasionally app developers decide to start a sale early or extend a sale but you can’t count on that happening.

Additional important info:

* Most app developers have a Facebook group for that app. I highly suggest joining these groups for an incredible amount of support from the app developers as well as other parents, therapists & teachers. Every group has it’s own “culture”. Some are very open to discussing any topic. Others are pretty strict about only posting info or questions directly related to that particular app. Here is a list of the FB groups:

– aacorn: https://www.facebook.com/groups/aacornapp/?ref=ts&fref=ts
– Avaz: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1404976513132058/?ref=ts&fref=ts
– Clicker Communicator: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Clicker.Communicator/?fref=ts
– Dynavox: https://www.facebook.com/groups/675299919223246/?fref=ts
– LAMP WFL: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1541091616125345/?ref=ts&fref=ts
– Proloquo2Go for Professionals: https://www.facebook.com/groups/256837297733511/?ref=ts&fref=ts
– Proloquo2Go for Parents: https://www.facebook.com/groups/241684205905600/?ref=ts&fref=ts
– Proloquo2Go & Proloquo4Text Adult Users: https://www.facebook.com/groups/192898234141275/?ref=br_rs
– Speak for Yourself: https://www.facebook.com/groups/273873326092019/?ref=ts&fref=ts
– Tobii: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tobiiuk/?ref=br_rs
– TouchChat: https://www.facebook.com/groups/touchchatapp/?ref=ts&fref=ts

I have suggested to the developers of the GoTalk Now app that a group be started but so far I’ve only seen a parent led one in Swedish. I have also suggested to the developer of the new Total Talk AAC app that they start a group. He was very open to the idea so I hope to see that soon.

There are also numerous other AAC-related Facebook groups. Again each having it’s own culture and dynamic. I’m not going to list all of those here…. but if you are a SLP, I definitely suggest joining the AAC for the SLP group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1539830846285663/.

* All states in the USA are supposed to have an Assistive Technology Lending Library program where parents & professionals can borrow AAC devices, iPads with AAC apps & other AT for short-term trial. It’s a great way to try various options out before making purchasing decisions. There are lots of great AAC apps…. but like anything there is no magical solution that meets every child’s specific needs. That’s why doing a good feature-match and trial of options is critical. I highly suggest an AAC eval with a SLP. The AT Lending Library in your area should know of folks in your area who do them.

Find the AT Lending Library in your state: http://www.ataporg.org/states.html. Also can look on: http://www.resnaprojects.org/allcontacts/statewidecontacts.html

* If you are a parent of a child with special needs and you are either tired of waiting on professionals being the gatekeepers for your child’s AAC options or have decided that don’t want to wait on an AAC evaluation, I still highly suggest doing a little “homework” to help you consider whether or not a particular AAC is a good match for your child before purchasing it. You can make informed purchasing decisions by watching videos of that app in use, reading parent blogs, joining the Facebook groups I listed above, find someone in your area who has the app, etc.

* Before commenting that these AAC apps are “so expensive” even on sale, please consider that “expensive” is a relative term. Compared to traditional AAC devices that cost thousands of dollars, these apps even at full price are a bargain and many parents end up purchasing an app themselves rather than continuing to wait for someone else to meet their child’s needs. The developers of these AAC apps have continued to invest their time and $$$ to add improvements to the app and pay licensing fees for high quality voices and symbol sets so we should not ever expect one of these apps to be free or cheaper than these sale prices. That being said, if the sale price is still out of reach for your budget then you may want to look for funding assistance. The AT lending programs I mentioned above are typically good resources for info about grant options for AT / AAC in that state.

* To find the pricing history of any app in the USA App Store, search for that app on this website, tap on the name of the app and then scroll down to the bottom of the page: http://appshopper.com

* Disclaimer: I do not have a financial relationship with any app developer or AAC company. I am only sharing this info to help spread the word to get more AAC options into the lives of kids who need it. My “favorite” AAC app is the one that has the features that best match that individual child’s needs at that particular point in time.

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There may be other AAC apps go on sale. For the most current info, be sure to “like” my OMazing Kids Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga – see this post for details on adjusting your settings to see all the posts: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2015/12/09/tip-how-to-get-all-the-facebook-posts-from-omazing-kids-and-other-pages/) & join my AppPeeps Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/)
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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
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
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 26 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 don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

OMazing Kids Book Review: “Raybot: Every Robot Needs A Friend” by Adam F. Watkins

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Check out this fun new addition to the OMazing Kids library…. Raybot: Every Robot Needs a Friend by Adam F. Watkins!

Raybot doesn’t have a best friend. Actually, he doesn’t have any friends at all. After learning that puppies make good best friends. Raybot decides to go find one…. but what does a puppy look like? Raybot has never seen one before. All he knows is that they go “bark!” And where does a robot find himself a puppy? The country? The jungle? Deep in the ocean? Somewhere in the world there must be an animal that goes “bark!”

I love the cool full-page illustrations, lots of opportunities for vocabulary, animal sounds, inferences and more! The book is also full of lots of opportunities for kids yoga: robot, gate, cross crawl hike, horse, goat, chicken, cow, pig, gyan mudra looking glasses, duck, bear, moose, goose, beaver, hippo, tree, giraffe, elephant, lion, monkey, lazy eights vines, whale, penguin, seal, shark, fish, waterfall, snake, parrot, puppy.

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I’ve added this book to my post on robot-themed kids yoga lesson plans: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2013/02/02/robot-themed-kids-yoga-lesson-plan-ideas/
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http://www.amazon.com/Raybot-Adam-F-Watkins/dp/0843183004
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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
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
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 26 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.

BalloonMaker Cause & Effect App: a current fave at OMazing Kids!

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A current fave at OMazing Kids… this cause & effect app is worth it’s weight in gold! I have a young patient with an extremely short attention span (typically under 5 seconds) who usually just mouths and throws toys. I created choices on the GoTalk Now AAC app and within one session he activated “iPad” several times to get to play this app. He maintained sustained joint attention to it for over 5 minutes at a time and vocalized more than I’ve ever heard in a session (pop, bubble, bi (big), ge ih (get it) & yeah). His mom was so excited she videoed a bit of it on her phone.

I was initially leery since the app hasn’t been updated since 2011. Usually not a good sign. Since it was only $.99, I decided to buy it. It works fine on my iPad running iOS 8.4 and on my iPad Mini that I just updated to iOS 9.3. Best $.99 I’ve ever spent 🙂

There is an Android version…. but since I don’t have any of those devices I can’t verify how well the app works on that platform: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.domainname.BalloonMaker. It’s only $.99 there too so worth trying.

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These were the choices on the GoTalk Now AAC app on my other iPad. It’s a dedicated “talker” and my other iPad has the fun stuff like this BalloonMaker app and other therapy apps.

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Of course I still use “real” bubbles & lots of real toys with kids in therapy sessions…. but the incredible results with this app in this particular session with this particular child were amazing and the giggles were priceless.

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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
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Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
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 26 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. I have no control over the ads nor do I profit from them}

Grump Meter app – new emotional self-regulation app currently FREE

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Last chance to get the new emotional self-regulation Grump Meter app while it is FREE. The app developer has an update pending in the App Store. Once it is released this app will become a paid app priced at $1.99. App Store link: https://appsto.re/us/MxnGab.i

Here is a description of the app provided by the developer:

Have you ever had a feeling you wished you could explain? Did you ever wish someone else could describe their feelings to you? The Grump Meter could be for you! It can help you describe your feelings–through color. Blue, green, yellow orange or red! The Grump Meter reminds you to find your way to calm blue and not to lose your head on red! On blue you have more words to share and stay connected to those you know and love. What color are you on? The Grump Meter came to life in a center where children, teens, and families came to learn how to manage their anger. People’s anger flew, sparked, and spread like forest fires. People don’t necessarily consciously recognize, articulate, or notice their feelings, but they act them out. This happens with kids and adults in our households, on playgrounds, in classrooms. Until now, the Grump Meter has always been made on a piece of cardboard. Now you can make it on your iPhone or iPad! Families like the Grump Meter. Kids happily explain the Grump Meter to their parents. Families use the Grump Meter to create new opportunities to talk about feelings and know each other better. Have a blue day!

More info on their website: http://www.thegrumpmeter.com/

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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
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
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 25 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.