Archive for the ‘autism’ Category

10 Autism Faves: nine toys & a “must have” book

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{10 Autism Faves} Here are ten items that have been consistent faves with my patients with Autism:

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Oh and of course you have to have bubbles! See this post for my favorite bubble wands & symbols for them: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2017/07/05/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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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.

 

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{App Review} Big Break: The Acting Game by Emote Play Apps Inc.

 

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{App Review} Big Break: The Acting Game by Emote Play Apps Inc.

This app is a fun twist on video modeling for learning and practicing expression of emotions. There are 14 movies to choose from. They are color coded into 4 levels (easy, medium, hard & hardest). The themes currently included are primarily geared towards older kids & teens (Broadway, Sci-Fi, Rock Opera, Comedy, Bollywood, Superhero, Fantasy-Comedy, 50’s Musical, Time Travel, Western Musical, Shakespeare, Fosse Musical, Punk Show & Circus). The app uses the iPad forward facing camera to show the user alongside the video model.

About the app: Big Break Bobby needs actors for his movie production studios. That’s where you come in. Act out lines along with game characters, guess emotions of the characters, and even see yourself in a movie. Earn points based on your acting and observation skills. This game provides a fun way for kids to practice their social communication skills through modules that require listening, watching, acting, and singing.

App video: 

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Wishes for a future app update:

* For the app to rotate when you flip the iPad. I always use my iPad in landscape orientation with the home button to the right. This app is currently upside down if I have my iPad in that orientation.

* Add some even easier movie options with themes suited for younger kids.

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App Store: https://appsto.re/us/cre26.i, iPad only, $5.99

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Website: http://bigbreakgame.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
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.

{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.

FREE Visual Timer App – adjustable directly on Apple Watch

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FREE Visual Timer App – adjustable directly on Apple Watch

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Most of the timer apps that can be used on an Apple Watch require you to first set a and activate the timer on the paired iPhone and only work when the phone is within range of the Bluetooth connection with that phone. Although I love the Time Timer app it is not that helpful to me since I work in a facility that prohibits taking your phone into patient areas. The timer app native to the Apple Watch can be adjusted directly on the watch but is not a visual timer.

So I was very excited to discover that one of my other visual timer apps can be used totally independently on the Apple Watch. The key is to customize it on your phone, sync it with your watch and then the timer time can be set, timer activated, paused & reset all directly from the watch WITHOUT it having to be paired with your phone.

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Video:


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App Store:

MultiTimer: Visual timer with multiple timers by Sergey Astakhov
https://appsto.re/us/ERtb6.i, FREE, you don’t need to purchase the IAP and no ads were seen
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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.

{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.