Archive for the ‘Augmentative Communication’ Category

{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
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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 + 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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{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.

{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.

 

{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 Review} Communication Adventure – An app for communication training for caregivers of children with complex communication needs by Avaz, Inc.

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{App Review} Communication Adventure – An app for communication training for caregivers of children with complex communication needs by Avaz, Inc.

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This app from Avaz provides several scenarios to practice opportunities for encouraging and expanding communication. The tips are pretty universal and could apply to any robust AAC system or even general language development. There were a couple of items that I might have coached a parent a little differently in but overall the app has good info and would be a fun and very affordable way to train parents, teachers, aides or other caregivers on ways to encourage & expand communication. After you complete all the modules you then have access to an area with additional tips / ideas.
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[FYI… if you have the  Avaz Pro – AAC App (https://appsto.re/us/19nrH.i) then you have similar scenarios in the “dashboard” area but they take longer to unlock there since that is contingent upon practicing sentences]
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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. 

 

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{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.