Archive for March, 2017

{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.

{App Reviews} Three apps to help kids with Autism: Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills, Fact & Opinion and Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids

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{App Reviews} Three apps to help kids with Autism: Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills, Fact & Opinion and Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids

Most of the kids on my caseload have Autism or other similar special needs that make social skills very challenging for them. Do you work with kids who tend to think their opinion is a “fact”, have little to no social filter and struggle with having a conversation? Then I recommend taking a look at these three apps:

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Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills: School Ed. by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/p72kgb.i, $14.99

Say It… Or Not?” teaches children with Autism how to filter their thoughts and provide appropriate responses in awkward or frustrating social situations. Over 100 real-life social situations with more than 400 possible responses provide a wide variety of practice in dealing with challenging situations. Students learn perspective-taking when they consider how someone would feel after hearing a specific response. Students also practice identifying if a specific response is “okay to say”. Finally, learners identify which response choice is best in a given situation. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I am loving the content in this app! The scenarios provided are diverse and relatable. Although it takes a little longer for the app to load if you toggle on the “voice on” option, I highly suggest doing so. It will add the option for you to tap a speaker button on each item which then reads it to you. The voiceovers are very well done with great tones of voice. I appreciate that the developer included a way for the SLP to unlock all the content and go directly to an area they want to target.

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Fact & Opinion: Reading Comprehension Skills SE by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/mhV86.i, $4.99

Fact or Opinion’ builds an important comprehension skill in a fun, game-like environment. All kids need to know how to interpret what they read — is it a fact, or is it someone’s opinion? This skill is especially important as they reach the age of accessing information from the internet. This vital skill is built incrementally. Early levels focus on thinking about how to prove and fact/opinion and also how to identify the clue words that are indicative of a fact or opinion. Later levels include timers to ensure fluency. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I am loving the content of this app and how it lays a foundation for how to determine facts vs. opinions and gradually builds in complexity. This app will definitely be getting a lot of use as I help my patients with Autism understand that just because they think something is a certain way doesn’t mean it is a “fact” and that others may hold different “opinions” than they do. The app developer has this app listed with their reading apps but in my world this is very much applicable to social skills.

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Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids: School Edition by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/ZoDNbb.i, $7.99

Conversation Planner teaches your child a step-by-step method to prepare for any conversation or social situation. Kids learn to think about who they are talking to, what that person will expect, when to know the person is ready for the conversation, etc. Conversation Planner gives your child the tools to complete successful conversations. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I love the variety of content included in the app. It is very helpful to have the levels labeled on the screen where you can choose a level. This allows the SLP to quickly chose the level they want to use with a particular patient in a session.

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All 3 apps rewards correct answers with coins that can later be spent getting accessories to dress up a character or playing a short reinforcer game (fruit ninja in Conversation Planner and Say It or Not, a penguin skateboarding game in Fact or Opinion). I like having reinforcer options built into the apps and that they are locked until the child has completed a certain number of items.

My thoughts on the reinforcer games… So a “fact” is I was terrible at the penguin game as evidenced by the poor penguin not making it past more than two dangerous plants every time I tried it. But I totally rocked at fruit ninja (which I’ve had tons of practice with outside of these apps). Therefore my “opinion” is that fruit ninja should be offered as a game option in the Fact or Opinion app…. or maybe I will just need more practice at when to tap so the poor penguin doesn’t crash into a prickly cactus or carnivorous plant…. lol!

Each app has a free lite “try before you buy” version. If you like what you see, I always suggest purchasing the full paid version of any app vs. upgrading a lite app via an in-app purchase.

See info about this developer’s entire line of apps on their website: https://www.happyfrogapps.com. Several are also available for Android devices.

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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.

AAC Tips: Teaching “I hear”

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{AAC Tips: Teaching “I hear”}  I love to help kids learn to listen and comment about what they hear using a variety of Melissa & Doug sound puzzles, the Cranium Bloom Let’s Play Neighborhood Sounds Bingo game, books with sound buttons and reading the book The Listening Walk and then going on a listening walk ourselves….. but I explain that our listening walk will be a little different than the one in the book since we will be stopping periodically to “talk” about what we hear 😃

In addition to these activities, I have a collection of apps that I like to use for teaching “I hear”. I have these on a separate device than the one being used for AAC and make sure the child’s AAC system has the vocabulary in it for the sounds we will be listening for.

  •  eduSounds by Joao Martiniano https://appsto.re/us/_YjNK.i
  • iHear PECS: Animals by Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc, https://appsto.re/us/gCSwW.i
  • Knock Knock with Bato by OTATAA, https://appsto.re/us/4MEC_.i
  • Sophie’s Discoveries HD by Surfing Dino Ltd, https://appsto.re/us/mEfXz.i
  • Sound Bingo for appCards® by Jumbo, https://appsto.re/us/udWzJ.i
  • Sound Touch by SoundTouch, https://appsto.re/us/O_3Vu.i (this developer has several apps in this series; great options for customization hidden in the iPad settings area for each of their apps. You can change the size of the field of pictures, toggle on/off the voiceovers, choose the voiceover language, whether or not the title for each picture is shown, the option to not use certain pictures, etc.. After learning about these secret settings I always look there for new apps that I install to see when hidden gems there may be.)
  • Toddler Sound 123 – Flashcards for baby to touch and play by GiggleUp Kids Apps And Educational Games Pty Ltd, https://appsto.re/us/G7whO.i (similar to Sound Touch, can toggle off the title and voiceovers for the pictures)
  • Tooney Tunes – Sound Recognition by Technolio Inc., https://appsto.re/us/KohFC.i
  • Touch the Sound by Innovative Mobile Apps, https://appsto.re/us/IjGmE.i

I have a few additional apps that I use for this but they appear to be missing from the App Store at the time of this post.
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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.