Archive for July, 2017

{Book Review} “The Day I Ran Away” by Holly Niner

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{Book Review} “The Day I Ran Away” by Holly Niner

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I love using great picture books in OMazing Kids speech therapy and kids yoga! Guess what this book is fun for both. I love the colorful illustrations, facial expressions of the characters, how the color of the text changes to help depict which character is talking, logical consequences for behaviors, offering options, the subtle use of kids yoga for calming and a happy ending.
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More about the book: While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day—which was anything but calm. She had a tantrum (because of some injustices involving a purple shirt and breakfast cereal) and was banished to her bedroom before deciding to run away. Understanding that kids have ups and downs, Grace’s mom wisely gave her daughter the space and time she needed to reach her own decision to return home—to open arms. The Day I Ran Away amusingly captures Grace’s mutable moods and childlike logic. Warm, humorous digital paintings offer fun details to keep little listeners busy. Kids can compare the bedtime and daytime scenes and try to figure out how Grace got that purple paw-print on her cheek—and when it got washed away. They can mimic Grace’s facial expressions or copy her poses for some soothing bedtime yoga. And of course, they can create a safe place to run away to when the injustices of Pre-K existence become too much to bear. A pop-up tent in the yard and the haven beneath the dining room table are excellent run-away destinations, as long as you come home for dinner.
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Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Flashlight Press (April 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936261898
ISBN-13: 978-1936261895
Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
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This publisher always has great printables to go with their books: http://flashlightpress.com/the-day-i-ran-away/ (tap on “Activity Guides”). I especially like “The Day I Ran Away Yoga” and “What Would You Pack?”


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Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Day-I-Ran-Away/dp/1936261898

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The author reading the book:

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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.

Social Story for Learning Appropriate Use of Video Games: Minecraft

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Over my 27+ career as a SLP I’ve worked with several kids & teens with Autism, ADHD and other special needs who became obsessed with a particular video game. The typical culprits are Pokemon, Mario, Angry Birds & Minecraft. When played in moderation video games can provide a stress relief outlet for kids with special needs. But for some kids it can become an obsession or even an addiction. When a kid or teen only wants to play, think about or talk about a particular game, then you know you have a problem. Well Minecraft Steve and his pals have attempted to take over another one of my patients. Minecraft has messed with the wrong speechie. This particular child and his family hold a very special place in my heart so I was determined to help.  Since this is a fairly common issue, I was shocked that I could not find any social stories online regarding appropriate use of video games. So I wrote one today using the Social Stories Creator for Educators app by Touch Autism. This particular child has an amazing knowledge of anatomy and chemistry well beyond what would be typically expected for his age so I used a few anatomy and brain chemistry terms to tie into that high interest area and help him see for himself why unlimited game play would not be a healthy choice for his brain. I even recorded voice overs for each page. I then sent it to myself in an e-mail both as a printable PDF and as a story that can be used within the app. Super excited that the voice overs were included when I imported the story onto my other iPad and that they could be edited on that second device (so anyone importing the story that I created will be able to edit the pictures, text and voice overs to fit that child’s unique needs).

Download the free printable 10-page PDF at: Social Story – Learning Appropriate Use of Video Games – Minecraft

Follow these steps to access the story and view it within the Social Story Creator app:

  1. If you don’t already have the full paid version of this app, then download the free version of the app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id588180598
  2. While on that iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, tap on this link: http://socialstorylibrary.touchautism.com/ldSMxeibzF1501014346344

To download this story you must have the Social Story Creator app installed and then you must click on the link from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

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This social story app is very easy/intuitive to use and many of my patients are highly motivated by anything presented on the iPad (seriously I could show them the same story in printed format, read it to them and might not get much of a response but somehow recording my voice and presenting the same social story via the iPad got a very different response…. Shhhhh….. don’t tell the kids that it’s Mrs. Angela inside the iPad…. lol!).

See my full review for this fabulous social story making app at:  https://omazingkidsllc.com/2017/07/12/app-review-social-stories-creator-for-educators-by-touch-autism/

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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.

{50+ Fun Food Apps} Expanding AAC opportunities with kids cooking & food themed apps

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{50+ Fun Food Apps} Expanding AAC opportunities with kids cooking & food themed apps

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One of the first motivators for many beginning AAC users is to request food. But then sometimes kids get stuck there. One way to move on is to tap into that high interest area by using food and cooking themed apps on a second iPad. Many of these apps are filled with opportunities to target verbs, adjectives, emotions and core vocabulary on their AAC device all centered around a food theme. I went through my app collection and compiled this list with a wide range of ages in mind:

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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.

 

{Book Review} Splat! by Jon Burgerman

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{Book Review} Splat! by Jon Burgerman

I love using great kids picture books in my work as a SLP and especially like books that invite readers to interact with the story! This new book has fun colorful illustrations and asks the reader to think about what will happen when they turn the page to “splat” what is on the right page on top of what is on the left page. I also love the facial expressions on the emoji-like character…. lol 😂

See a video of the book being read:

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I made a free printable to use as a Play-doh smash mat to go along with this book:

Splat Play-doh splat mat

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Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uAD2qG

Publisher: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/550940/splat-by-jon-burgerman/9780735228764/
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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.

{App Review} Social Stories Creator for Educators by Touch Autism

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{App Review} Social Stories Creator for Educators by Touch Autism

Most of the kids on my caseload have Autism or other similar special needs so I am constantly either looking for or creating social stories. With 23 pre-made social stories included this app is a huge time saver and a bargain when compared to how much it would cost to purchase individual social stories. You could easily spend twice the cost of this app. I like how simple the stories are and some include interactive symbol areas. This app also includes several social stories that are not yet available as stand alone apps. It is very easy/intuitive to use and many of my patients are highly motivated by anything presented on the iPad (seriously I could show them the same story in printed format, read it to them and might not get much of a response but somehow recording my voice and presenting the same social story via the iPad got a very different response…. Shhhhh….. don’t tell the kids that it’s Mrs. Angela inside the iPad…. lol!).

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Three video examples of included social stories:

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I have just a few wishes for a future app update:
• being able to copy and then edit the pre-made stories to tweak them as needed for individual needs
• being able to print pre-made stories to send with the parent after a session for carryover at home (my current solution to this is to take screenshots and then either e-mail those to the parent to print at home or to myself to then print and give to the parent – both of which were time consuming)
• to have a small library of clip art of images from the pre-made stories to choose from when creating my own stories in addition to importing images from the Camera Roll. I like the uniform/cohesive look of the included stories so it would be cool to be able to keep some of this “look” in stories that I create.

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Features:
• Includes 23 pre-made social stories (info in parentheses if that story is available as a stand alone app. I am including the price if purchased as a separate app to help folks see the value you would get in this app):
– Asking to play (part of Conversation Social Stories app $3.99)
– Boys potty training (part of Potty Training Social Story app $3.99)
– Compliments ($2.99)
– Divorce (not available as a stand alone app)
– Emotions & feelings ($2.99)
– Girls potty training (part of Potty Training Social Story app)
– Going on an airplane (not available as a stand alone app)
– Going shopping ($2.99)
– Greetings (part of Conversation Social Stories app)
– How to calm down (wording similar to the Calm Counter app $2.99)
– It’s not OK to hurt (not available as a stand alone app)
– Joke telling ($2.99)
– Making conversations (part of Conversation Social Stories app
– Manners ($2.99)
– Personal space (not available as a stand alone app)
– Running ($2.99)
– Stranger & community safety ($2.99)
– Taking care of my device ($1.99)
– Taking turns & playing games ($2.99 – but a visual support/timer for taking turns is included in the stand alone app but is not in this app)
– Using & saving money ($2.99)
– Using my words ($2.99)
– Waiting ($2.99 – but a visual timer is included in the stand alone app but is not in this app)
– Wh questions ($2.99)

• Easily create an unlimited number of your own social stories with pictures, voice recordings and text.
• Share and receive created stories with other users.
• Print PDFs of created stories to have paper copies. The recent update for iOS 10 or later added the option to choose half page or full page.
• Stories can be made in any language.
• Organize stories into categories for particular skills, students or classrooms.
• Lock students into categories or apps to limit access.
• Create and play stories offline (with no internet connection).
• Easy to use, intuitive format.
• Password protected parental controls can be set.

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App Store: https://appsto.re/us/79vG7.i, $24.99, most recent update requires iOS 10 or later, iOS Universal app (works on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch)

Free version to create 2 of your own social stories and download 1 free pre-made story “Taking Care of My Device” (doesn’t include any other pre-made stories unless purchased as IAPs): Social Stories Creator and Library by Touch Autism, https://appsto.re/us/2XUdJ.i (Tip: If you want all of the stories, it is wiser to purchase the full paid version of an app instead of upgrading a free app via IAPs)

More about the app: http://touchautism.com/app/social-stories-creator-library/
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I’m glad to have this app in my speechie toolbox and highly recommend it 😃
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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.

{Free Printable} Free printable symbols for colored bubble wands & great deal on bubble wands on clearance ($1.00 per pack of 6)

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I love bubbles and over my 27+ year career have tried all kinds of different types of bubbles, bubble blowers & bubble containers. I have several “no-spill” containers that kids can use independently but when I want to facilitate requesting and commenting these colored bubble wands are my current faves. I discovered them when I had a young patient with Autism who wanted “big bubbles” and had meltdowns that none of my other bubble options made bubbles big enough. Well these wands can make some really big bubbles if you swish/swoop them through the air just right but can also make tons of small bubbles if you move the wand while blowing into it (they should seriously have a class in the art of bubble blowing in grad school… lol!).

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I stocked up when I saw my favorite bubble wands on clearance for $1.00 per pack of 6 (usually $3.88 per pack) on Sunday at the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 36th Ave NW and Rock Creek Road in Norman, OK.  I have one pink bubble wand that I bought at Michael’s for a couple of patients whose favorite color is pink. I’ll just keep refilling it. Should have enough bubbles to carry me through until retirement in 42 weeks. I know I had promised that I wasn’t buying any more therapy stuff but bubbles don’t count since they are consumables (right?).

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Once I open them, I store the bubble wands in an empty rice container since they sometimes leak if laid down flat. I label the container with a large laminated symbol. I cut the smaller symbols apart, laminate & then cut again and store on a small section of plastic file folder in the container. That way the symbols are always with the bubble set to used for Aided Language Stimulation or for the child to request or comment via PECS. Of course if a child has their own PECS book or AAC device, I make sure they have this vocabulary within it.

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Here is a free printable 1-page color PDF of the symbols:

free printable symbols for colored bubble wands – from OMazing Kids – Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP

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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.

{App Warning} Do not install the update for First Blubs & concerns I have regarding the pricing on the new Speech Blubs app

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{App Warning} Heads up….. if you already have the First Blubs app with all of the animals unlocked and like using it in therapy do NOT update the app or remove it from your iPad. If you did not already have that app, do NOT purchase it. They raised the price to a ridiculously high $99.99 to discourage folks from purchasing it and instead steering them to a new app called Speech Blubs (https://appsto.re/us/n0z4jb.i).

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Unfortunately the app developer has chosen to switch to a subscription based model with that new app and are charging $9.99 per month (that’s $119.88 per year folks….. I don’t care what enhancements they may have done there is no way an app like that is worth that amount.). They claim to have received input from parents and SLPs that they would be willing to pay that. I find that extremely hard to believe.

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I expressed my concerns to the app developer in an e-mail on 6/12/17. Since they had not replied, I expressed concern when the developer posted last week in one of the SLP Facebook groups but that post now seems to have disappeared.

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Because they have mentioned OMazing Kids in the description of the new app I feel compelled to make it clear that I do NOT endorse that new app due to the price.

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I totally understand an app developer needing to cover the costs of making an app and making some profit. But I get very angry when I sense that an app developer is trying to take advantage of parents who have a child with special needs. Please do not be enticed into their offer for a free trial since you then may be enrolled in the monthly fee after that free trial has ended.

I submitted the following concerns in a review on the App Store:

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Based on the app developer’s reply that I received in an e-mail from Apple, it is clear that they are sticking with the subscription-based approach and even more concerning imply that the app might be better than the services provided by a SLP:

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Update:

It took a social media blitz to get them to remove the OMazing Kids name from the description for Speech Blubs on the App Store but I just saw they are still using my name on their website and linking back to a post I did last August about the Blub Blub app. I did an update to that post to hopefully force them to quit using the OMazing Kids name on their website, any social media or any app stores (Apple, Google Play, Amazon or any others that might appear in the future). The app developer is luring folks in with the promise of a free short trial and then charging a $9.99 per month subscription fee. They are also misusing the names of several SLP blogs including my own to promote this new app. On their website they include quotes from reviews for the original app and number of users from that app and are trying to pass them off as being related to this new app. I saw that several other folks have written reviews expressing concerns on the App Store. To see them you’ll have to tap “All Reviews” since reviews are hidden there once an app developer releases an update.

They have seriously messed with the wrong speechie…. I am very active and vocal on social media, am in almost every SLP Facebook group that they might try to lure SLPs in and am definitely not afraid to call them out every single time I see them post.

Also see this post on my Facebook page and the comments section on that post:

 

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC