Archive for the ‘product review’ Category

{Review} Smarty Symbols Image Club

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{Review} Smarty Symbols Image Club

I have several patients who use the Speak For Yourself AAC app. That app uses Smarty Symbols. So I was especially thrilled to have the opportunity to try out the online Smarty Symbols Image Club (https://smartysymbols.com).

I already had the Custom Boards – Premium app (https://appsto.re/us/1hHNB.i) with access to over 10,000 symbols.

I was excited to see the Smarty Symbol Image Club has over 19,000 symbols. They even add hundreds of new images to their portal on a monthly basis. Many of these images are created in response to the requests by subscribers. If you search for a word and you don’t find it, they will create it for you!

I was able to quickly create a CV web mat to use in conjunction with the fabulous free speech sound cue cards from Speechy Musings also featuring Smarty Symbols (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Speech-Sound-Cue-Cards-Freebie-2196455). The website was easy to use. I can’t wait to make more materials featuring Smarty Symbols!

Here are some of the key features in the Smarty Symbol Image Club:

  • Access over 19,000 symbols
  • Ability to request a specific symbol be created
  • New symbols added monthly
  • Symbols representing a variety of genders, ages & ethnicities
  • All symbols are offered in full color or gray scale
  • You can download images in two formats: .png (transparent background – great for layering) or .jpg (white background). You can easily insert them onto your materials.
  • Images are organized into over 140 educationally relevant categories
  • You can search images by speech sound & position in a word making it very easy for SLPs to create materials to target particular articulation goals.
  • Activity Library where users can share activities they have created with other subscribers.
  • Printing Center with 40 templates. You can also create your own custom grids with 1-8 columns and 1-8 rows, specify the border color and adjust the border thickness. This portion of the website can only be accessed via a computer (not iPad-compatible).
  • Several video tutorials to help you get up to speed quickly on using the website: https://smartysymbols.com/videos/
  • Subscribers Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/447191572097599
  • Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/smartysymbols/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Pricing Options: https://smartysymbols.com/our-plans-pricing/. For personal use, they currently offer rates of $45 per year or $9 per month. They also offer group licenses at a discounted rate to school districts and educational agencies (contact them for that pricing).

If you have an online store such as a store on websites like Teachers Pay Teachers, you will want a commercial license which gives you the rights to post your creations for sale while your subscription is active. The commercial license gives users the same access as a personal license. The key difference is that you will be sharing whatever you created with others online or by selling the material to others. They currently offer commercial rates of $200 per year or $29.99 per month.

If you are needing an option that is totally iPad compatible and templates for common AAC mid-tech devices, then their Custom Boards app will be a better fit for your needs (http://smartyearsapps.com/service/custom-boards/)

On the other hand, if you would rather create items on the computer, have access to more symbols (including .png format that can be layered and used in other projects) and those representing a wider variety of ages and ethnic backgrounds, have access to the activity library where other subscribers have shared materials and don’t anticipate needing AAC templates, then the online subscription to the Smarty Symbols Image Club would be a great option.

Or get the best of both worlds by getting both the app & the online subscription. Both the app and the online subscription offer the option to search for images by speech sound & position in a word making it very easy for SLPs to create materials to target particular articulation goals. Both also offer the option to search for symbols in the “Speak For Yourself (SFY) Core”.

The cool thing is all of these options are significantly more affordable than a Boardmaker CD or a subscription to Boardmaker Online.

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I was blessed to win a copy of a Boardmaker CD many years ago and it’s definitely gotten LOTS of use. You’ve also seen me post about the Tools 2 Talk app with PCS symbols, the iESLp app with SymbolStix, the GoTalk Now Plus app with PCS and SymbolStix, the Custom Boards app with Smarty Symbols and now the Smarty Symbols Image Club. Each of these tools is unique and I pick the one best suited to the need in that moment.

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In the era of working with patients using AAC devices with varying symbol sets I’m glad to have a way to make materials and visual supports with the symbols that each patient is accustomed to. If I’m making visual supports or therapy materials that will be used across lots of different patients, then I often pick symbols from a variety of symbol sets going with whatever best depicts the concept.

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Disclaimer: I received a free subscription to this website to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are my own.

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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
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 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 ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

50% off the amazing iESLp app (create your own interactive and printable activities & visual supports)

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{Big App Sale} The iESLp app allows you to make interactive activities for use on the iPad or printable activities and visual supports for use off the iPad. This app is a great bargain on sale for only $9.99 considering that you could easily spend that amount on one or two items on Teachers Pay Teachers. This app is packed full of amazing features:

  • 24,000 Symbolstix symbols and pictures built in
  • In-app purchase of 3,800+ Scrapin Doodle clip art images
  • Import photos from albums and use existing clip art from your favorite graphic designer
  • Build activities to meet your needs from an assortment of grids, boards, game board, visual tools and templates or design your own
  • Attach voice recording to text or symbols
  • Create activity sheets, handouts and more
  • Make two-dimensional assignment sheets come alive with the interactive and manipulative features
  • Depict action by moving the symbols around
  • Create movable activities like matching, sorting, counting, story-writing activities and more
  • Easily create goal content or curriculum-related material, articulation sets, minimal pairs sets, etc.
  • Students and clients can make their own boards, activity sheets, games, etc.
  • Create goal-targeted vocabulary or sound cards with voice-recording features
  • Visual strategy boards come alive using the built-in features
  • Share assignment and activity sheets through air drop, text messaging, email and social media
  • Print from within the program using an air printer

App Store link:

iESLp by Irmgard Raubenheimer
https://appsto.re/us/NiPA2.i, iPad only, usually $19.99 -> currently $9.99 (50% off) (price in USA App Store. Prices in other areas vary depending on the exchange rate)

According to the app developer’s Facebook page, the app will only be offered at the sale price for a couple of days so grab it quickly and double check prices before purchasing

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The in app purchases are for extra clip art. The SymbolStix symbols are all already included in the app. See this post for details about why they included both:

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See tutorials & tons of ideas for items you can create with this app on their website & Facebook page:

Website: https://ieslp.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ieslpapp

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Ideas:

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Tips:

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These are just a few of the endless possibilities. I’m in the process of trying out the app and will be posting pics of my creations in the future. Be watching my Facebook page 😃

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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
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 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 ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

{Book Reviews} 5 Great Books for SLPs: Being Frank, Dragon and Captain, Hammer and Nails, Hey! That’s My Monster & I Need My Monster by Flashlight Press

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{Book Reviews} 5 Great Books for SLPs: Being Frank, Dragon and Captain, Hammer and Nails, Hey! That’s My Monster & I Need My Monster by Flashlight Press

  • Being Frank by Donna Earnhardt

Honesty is the best policy.” That’s Frank’s motto. But Frank’s overly frank comments tend to annoy his friends and teachers. Not even his own mother is all that fond of Frank’s “tell all” attitude. So Frank turns to his grandpa for help. “Everyone is mad at me for being frank. I’m not sure honesty is the best policy anymore.” A few outrageous hats, a spicy jar of relish, and some grandfatherly wisdom help Frank realize that truth is best served with more sugar and less pepper.

What I love as a SLP: This book is perfect to help kids with Autism or other special needs understand the concept of filtering the “truth” in a way that is considerate of another person’s feelings. The analogy of the truth being “best served with more sugar and less pepper” is fabulous!

Book trailer:

I’m planning on making an activity similar to this one to go with the book: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Social-Skill-Lesson-Honesty-without-Hurting-Feelings-2070400

Or this activity:

  • Dragon and Captain by P. R. Allabach

Dragon is a boy who always wears his dragon robe. And Captain is a boy with a three-sided hat. But as the boys’ imaginations take over, we see them as they see themselves, and the backyard as the boys see it: a dark forest, a craggy cliff, and the immense sea. Illustrated like a comic book but for kids at the picture book age level.

What I love as a SLP: I have been looking for a comic style picture book for younger kids after reading a post about using that style of books to help kids with Autism and other special needs understand the turn taking aspect of conversations. This book is exactly what I have been needing! I love the large illustrations and simple dialogue depicted on each page or two-page spread. This style of book also lends itself well to showing kids a sequence of events. It is also filled with lots of great vocabulary, verbs, adjectives, spatial concepts, predicting, inferencing, teamwork and imagination. The pirate theme is sure to be a hit with my patients! Even the end pages are illustrated as pirate’s map.

Book read aloud video:

 

  • Hammer and Nails by Josh Bledsoe

Darcy has plans. She and her friend are going to play dress up, do each other’s hair, and polish their nails. Daddy has plans, too. He’s going to read the paper, mow the lawn, and fix the fence. When Darcy’s friend cancels and she’s sure her day is ruined, Daddy suggests a Darcy-Daddy Day. Now they can tackle their to-do lists together. But will Darcy enjoy hammering? Will Daddy do nails? You bet! Join Darcy and Daddy as they discover the fun in trying new things, especially with someone you love.

What I love as a SLP: This book has great illustrations depicting emotions and a fabulous storyline of a day that a child thought was ruined by a change in plans instead turning into a fun-filled day with her Dad. I love that the day is a mixture of what the things she wanted to do and the things her Dad needed to accomplish. This book is filled with great examples of “flexible thinking” and discussing options. Lots of great vocabulary, verbs, adjectives, spatial concepts, taking turns, trying new things, silliness/humor and showing that even chores like mowing, laundry or fixing a fence can be fun if you use your imagination and are working together.

No video of this book yet but I’ll add one here later if one is made. In the meantime a cute picture:

 

  • Hey, That’s My Monster! by Amanda Noll

Hey, That’s MY Monster!, companion to the best-selling I Need My Monster, is an irresistible monster-under-the-bed story for all monster-loving kids. The perfect balance of giggles and shivers will keep you under your covers, and you’ll soon be sleeping soundly.

What I love as a SLP: This book has all the same great qualities as “I Need My Monster” with the added opportunities for pronouns (he, she, his, her). It is also fun to compare the monsters found in both books.

Book Trailer:

 

  •  I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll

One night, when Ethan checks under the bed for his monster, he finds a note instead: “Gone fishing. Back in a week. –Gabe”. What will Ethan do? He needs a monster under his bed. How is he supposed to get to sleep if his monster is gone? Substitute monsters appear, but none are just right. Herbert’s teeth aren’t sharp enough, Mack’s slobbering induces giggles, Cynthia’s tail isn’t scary at all, and Ralph has nail polish on his claws! This will never work! How will Ethan ever get to sleep without his monster?

What I love as a SLP: This book is filled with great vocabulary, verbs, adjectives and is fun to use to compare/contrast the monsters. I also used it on Halloween with several patients working on articulation. It was fun to find words with their target sounds. The illustrations are exquisite and the story is the perfect level of “just a little scary but mainly funny”. The end sheets are illustrated with lots of different monsters… fun for a game of “I spy”.

Book read aloud video:


Animated rendition of the book:

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Get free printables for each book: http://www.flashlightpress.com/Activity_Guides.html

Check out their catalog for a peek inside each book: http://www.flashlightpress.com/files/fpcat2016_v26.pdf

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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/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 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} Super Yoga Bedtime by Cheeky Yogi

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{App Review} Super Yoga Bedtime by Cheeky Yogi

This lovely new superhero-themed kids yoga & mindfulness iPad app helps children wind down and let go of all the “stuff’ from their day. Activities are short (each less than 10 minutes) so it’s easy to squeeze into a bedtime routine or to use as a calming break during the day and is nice for kids with shorter attention spans.

Features:

– 3 yoga sequences with detailed guidance to help encourage safe alignment
– 5 guided relaxation journeys
– 2 calming breathing techniques
– A Superhero Scoreboard to track minutes and days of practice
– Superpower badges to reward regular practice and inspire discussion around qualities like empathy and resilience, developing emotional literacy

This app is a bargain at $2.99 (current price in the USA App Store, prices may vary in other countries based on the exchange rate).

My only suggestions for a future app update would be to find a way to compress or reduce the app size. It’s currently a large app (1.16 GB). It would also be nice for it to eventually be a universal iOS app so parents could use it on an iPhone as well as an iPad.

App Store link: https://appsto.re/us/SGcGdb.i

Website: http://cheekyyogi.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheekyyogi
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cheeky_yogi
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cheekyyogi/

App preview video:


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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/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 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.

Review: Imaginations 3 – Guided Meditations and Yoga for Kids

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Review: Imaginations 3 – Guided Meditations and Yoga for Kids

Book Description

The third book in the Imaginations Series, Imaginations 3: Guided Meditations and Yoga for Kids is an essential resource for every parent and teacher who wants to help children learn to calm their bodies and relax their minds.

The benefits of relaxation for kids include:
• Reduced stress
• Better concentration and focus
• Enhanced ability to learn
• Improved behavior and sleep
• Increased self-esteem

Relaxation Story Titles:
Tight and Soft
A Bird’s-Eye View
Fish
On a Farm
Pumpkin
The Apple Tree
Superhero
Bicycle
Mountaintop
Your Island
Riding a Comet
Moonbeam Blanket
Flying Carpet Ride to India
See the Music
Unicorn Friend
Earth Tour
Peaceful Body, Peaceful World
Loving Kindness
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What I LOVE about this book:

  • Includes 18 relaxation scripts specifically written for kids. The scripts are short and based on kid-friendly themes. Most of these are themes commonly used in kids yoga classes so this book is sure to become a loved & well used resource!
  • These relaxation scripts will also be helpful in my work as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Many of the kids I see have high levels of anxiety and often have difficulty sleeping. I often incorporate relaxation techniques into my sessions, especially for kids with Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD & Stuttering.
  • The scripts are free of any wording that have religious connotations which makes them easy to use in any setting.
  • Each 2-page spread has a script & a full page illustration. The illustrations capture the essence of the script and many have a “retro” feel to them. I love having a picture to show kids before I read a relaxation script. Many of the kids I work with have special needs and relate well to visuals.
  • Large easy to read text.
  • Great additional info in the introduction sections. Love the simplified intro written specifically for kids!
  • Includes pictures & instructions for four yoga poses as prep for relaxation (knee hug, happy baby, legs up & starfish savasana) and five breathing games (Hoberman Sphere, heart breath, yawning breath, humming breath & buzzing bee breath)

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A sneek-peek inside the book. Since there were not any pics on Amazon of any of the actual 2-page spread relaxation stories, I took these pics but masked out most of the text. It will at least give you a “feel” for what the stories are like:

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I love fall & pumkins so this relaxation story was definitely a fave 🙂

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Can’t wait to use this in an outer spaced themed class!

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Author’s website & blog: http://bambinoyoga.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BambinoYoga & http://www.facebook.com/imaginationsforkids
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bambinoyoga
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/bambinoyoga/
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Price: $19.99
Available for purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Imaginations-Guided-Meditations-Yoga-Kids/dp/0990732258
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All three books and a few individual relaxation stories PDFs can also be purchased on the author’s website: http://bambinoyoga.com/shop/.
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See info about the first book in this series in this review: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2012/08/26/review-giveaway-imaginations-fun-relaxation-stories-and-meditations-for-kids/
Review for second book: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2014/11/01/review-imaginations-fun-relaxation-stories-and-guided-imagery-for-kids-2/

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Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are my own.
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist & Kids Yoga Teacher
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 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} My Spots by Marina V.

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{Book Review} My Spots by Marina V.

“My Spots” is a sweet children’s book about finding our own unique “spots” and being okay with any birthmarks that nature gave us. The author gently guides children through a journey of acceptance and self-love by illustrating beautiful spots and markings found on animals in nature. This is a wonderful new addition to my OMazing Kids collection of children’s picture books on self-esteem! I like that it includes a page for the child to draw their own special birthmark spots & a page for them to answer the question “If you were an animal, what type of spots would you have?” and then draw it.

Paperback version: https://www.amazon.com/My-Spots-Marina-V/dp/1523685913

I just saw a Facebook post from the author that the Kindle version of this sweet book is FREE today!

Head over to get it at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CDL8050/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1#nav-subnav. {Tip: Be sure to double check the “Kindle Price” before downloading}

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Here are a few screenshots from the Kindle version:

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Author’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarinaV
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 26 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.
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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

{Review} Bluebee Pals Pro

Bluebee Pals Pro

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{Review} Bluebee Pals Pro

I was excited to have the opportunity to test the upgraded version of the Bluebee Pals. I’ve been using them since April 2015 (see this post: http://bit.ly/2aAAsqO). Always fun to watch products evolve over time. Here’s what I love about the new Bluebee Pals Pros:

  • They are slightly larger, slightly heavier & fluffier
  • The sound output is louder with more noticeable mouth movement
  • The Bluebee Pal Pro tells you to connect it via Bluetooth, provides verbal feedback when it is connected and tells you when it needs to be charged
  • The process of connecting it to a device via Bluetooth is easier than before

The only slight glitch I noticed is that part of the word was left off when using it with an AAC app but this appeared to resolve after the first couple of activations. When doing a side-by-side comparison of the original and new Bluebee Pals, this was less noticeable with the new version.

Price: $64.99 each

Website: https://bluebeepals.com
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Side-by-side comparison:

Another fun use for Bluebee Pals is with music or music apps:

Singing “Sparrows”:

Singing “Take the Sun” in the Caspar Babypants Music Time! app
https://appsto.re/us/DGLdN.i

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See the power of using Bluebee Pals: 

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Quick instructional “how to” video:

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The company continues to be dedicated to getting Bluebee Pals into the hands of professionals working with kids with special needs. They have generously donated numerous Bluebee Pals to teachers, SLPs, OTs, etc… Check out their Bluebee Pals Ambassador program:

Ambassadors

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Follow them on social media for product updates: https://www.facebook.com/BluebeePals

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_1ePfSV9XWfg_rCtdU634A
https://www.instagram.com/bluebeepals/

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Disclaimer: I received free samples of the product to review. No compensation was received to review them and my opinions are strictly my own.
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 26 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.
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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

{Book Bundle Giveaway} Seashell Meditations for Children book, coloring activity book & seashell

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Check out this great opportunity to win a kids guided relaxation book bundle! I love that each of the 10 guided relaxation stories includes a picture, lovely rhyming text & a QR code to scan to go directly to a video with background music and sounds for that story. The coloring activity book would be great to use along with the book or with any ocean themed activity. I love the space left on each 2 page spread inviting the child to add to the picture.

The best part is that I get to share this bundle with three of you! Three winners will each receive a bundle of one autographed copy of the Seashell Meditations for Children: The Ten Story Collection + one copy of Under The Sea: A Seashell Meditation for Children Coloring and Activity Book + a seashell. Worldwide entries allowed. Scroll down to find the entry form below.

Available for purchase:

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Book: https://www.amazon.com/Seashell-Meditations-Children-Book-Collection/dp/0692676015

A Seashell Meditation for Children combines the entire 10 story collection into one. Now you get 10 fun and interactive stories that introduces meditation in the form of a short story rhymes using a seashell as an interactive tool for focus and fun all in one book. Reading the story to the child and using a simple meditation technique will guide them through a creative journey as the story takes them to exciting places to use their imaginations and explore which is a great way to introduce meditation for beginners. With each story there is a QR code available to scan with your smart device for background music and sounds while reading the book to the child. The benefits of meditation are endless. Learning this practice at a young age can help a child through their lifetime.

$16.95
Age Range: 2 – 12 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 6
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: Seashell Publications; The Ten Story Collection ed. edition (April 7, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692676015
ISBN-13: 978-0692676011
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches

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Coloring and activity book: https://www.amazon.com/Under-Sea-Seashell-Meditation-Children/dp/0692716165

A Seashell Meditation for Children, Under the Sea, is a unique coloring activity book that contains a short meditation story rhyme using a seashell as a tool for focus and concentration. The book encourages the child to use their imagination while listening to the story as it is being read. The child then can color the pictured pages that corresponds with the meditation story as well as use their imagination and color in the blank spaces provided by reflecting back on the meditation they just heard. This helps the child to engage and participate in the meditation.

$7.95
Age Range: 2 – 11 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 6
Paperback: 34 pages
Publisher: Seashell Publications (May 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692716165
ISBN-13: 978-0692716168
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches

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Book trailer:

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Author’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/seashellmeditations/
Author’s website: http://www.seashellmeditations.com
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This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to the three winners: Danette Moore, Tara Geller & Michelle Arenas. Your info has been sent to the author to mail out the prizes.

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Easy Entry Form (be sure you are on the original blog post for the entry form to show up. Previews in e-mail often don’t show it):

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  • Only entries with all required information will be valid. The info comes to me directly via e-mail & is ONLY used for the purposes of selecting winners and distributing prizes.
  • Helpful Info & Tips: Folks had requested a simpler entry option. I tried Rafflecopter but most folks did not enter an address so now I’m trying this online contact form instead. I will be hand selecting winners to insure products end up in the hands of folks who will put them to the best use. Briefly tell me how winning this would help you & the kids. I take the time to read each entry so details count. It doesn’t have to be lengthy…. just heart-felt.
  • If you experience any problems with the entry form in this blog post, please e-mail me specific details so I can attempt to fix it. E-mail to: amoorad1@juno.com . The entry deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of OMazing Kids in the event of prolonged entry problems.
  • Each “giveaway” is handled separately on OMazing Kids. So there are no rules prohibiting previous winners from entering this or future giveaways. I really do read every entry in every giveaway carefully to insure that the products end up in the best hands to impact kids lives.

Entry Deadline: 11:59pm CST on July 23, 2016.

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • One entry per person.
  • Worldwide entries are allowed for this particular giveaway.
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via entries may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • Only entries with all required information will be valid.
  • The winner will be chosen from valid entries on July 24, 2016.
  • The winners will be notified via e-mail, will be posted on the blog post & will be posted on the OMazing Kids Facebook page. The company offering the prize may also post the winner’s name on their website, blog, Facebook page and/or other social media sites at their discretion.
  • The prize will be mailed to the winner using the address submitted in the entry form. OMazing Kids is not responsible for items lost in the mail or for inaccuracies in the mailing address. I copy & paste the info directly from what you submit << so PLEASE proof read your entry for accuracy before submitting it…. in the era of iPhone auto correction these errors happen pretty frequently>>
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the author and she will be mailing the prizes directly to the winners. After I e-mail the winner’s info to the company, it is their responsibility to mail out prizes. Please contact them first if you are concerned about not receiving a prize. If that does not resolve the problem, then feel free to e-mail me and I will glad to assist in whatever way I can.

Prize Value: $25.00

3 winners will each receive a bundle of one autographed copy of the Seashell Meditations for Children: The Ten Story Collection + one copy of Under The Sea: A Seashell Meditation for Children Coloring and Activity Book + a seashell.

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just a kids book bundle but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff… This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties. Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 26 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.
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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

{Book Review} Maggi and Milo Make New Friends by Juli Brenning

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{Book Review} Maggi and Milo Make New Friends by Juli Brenning

I work with lots of kids who struggle with making friends so this new book is sure to become a fave. I love the whimsical illustrations and fun storyline…. especially the scavenger hunt that is filled with great descriptive language and the message of working together.

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About the book: Perfect for fans of Ladybug Girl, this playground adventure about the joy of making new friends continues the story of the plucky girl-and-dog duo from Maggi and Milo. Maggi is an irrepressible girl with an equally awesome best friend: her dog, Milo. So when Mom suggests a day at the park with other kids, Maggi isn’t sure. All she needs is Milo, afer all. But off to the playground they go—only to find that no dogs are allowed! Maggi wants to stay behind, but the other kids are having so much fun that she decides to go in. Before long, she has a whole group of new friends, and all of them want to try walking Milo. But first, they have to find a family of rollie-pollies, complete a treasure hunt, and build a pirate ship. When it’s time to go, Maggi waves goodbye to her new friends—but she knows she’s going home with Milo, her best friend of all.

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Publisher: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/309682/maggi-and-milo-make-new-friends-by-juli-brenning-illustrated-by-priscilla-burris/9780803737761/

Free coloring pages: http://www.maggiandmilo.com
Author’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/julibrenningcom

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Here is a free scavenger hunt printable that I received from the publisher:

Click pic to open 1 page PDF

Click to access maggi-and-milo-make-new-friends-scavenger-hunt.pdf

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Disclaimer: I received these books from the publisher to review. No compensation was received to review them and my opinions are strictly my own.
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 26 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.
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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

{App Review} Tools2Talk+: an affordable way to access PCS symbols

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{App Review} Looking for an affordable way to access Mayer-Johnson PCS symbols to make communication boards, PECS symbols or visual supports? Tools2Talk+ is a brand new app designed by SLPs from Scope. Create communication aids with PCS symbols, Compic symbols or your own photos. There are nearly 100 different page layouts options available, including 81 grids and 14 templates. Print or share via email. Use “chat mode” to have a button spoken with one of the text to speech iOS voices.

Key Features:

  • Over 20,000 PCS symbols (PCS Classic & PCS ThinLine)
  • Over 1,500 Compic symbols
  • Add your own images to cells via the iPad camera or images saved on your Camera Roll
  • Use the boards on your iPad with text to speech via iOS Voices with adjustable rate in Chat Mode
  • Print boards
  • Email boards in PDF
  • Customize cell color, cell font, page background color and more. Love the option to set a default font, font size & font color!
  • Undo/Redo options to fix mistakes quickly
  • Edit multiple cells at the same time (love this feature!)
  • Change the board configuration in edit mode
  • Drag and drop cells to different positions on the board
  • Easily navigate using the dropdown menu in chat mode
  • In-app user guide

App Store link: https://appsto.re/us/tYUeab.i

Special intro pricing: $47.99 (USA App Store) – pricing varies in other countries based on the exchange rate. An affordable option to get access to PCS symbols compared to the subscription rate for Boardmaker Online (starts at $99 per year) or Boardmaker software (starts at $399).

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Tip: Want to use a PCS symbol in one of your other AAC apps? Use this app. Make a 1×1 template, add the PCS symbol you want and delete the label text. Then take a screenshot on your iPad. It will save it to your Camera Roll. Crop that pic and then import it from your camera roll into most AAC apps. Some AAC apps do best with a square pic so I usually crop my pics accordingly.

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I’m LOVING this app as a way to finally be able to make printable communication boards, PECS & visual supports with the PCS symbols many of my patients are accustomed to without having to sit at a computer or pay for an online subscription! While this app is not as full featured as the Boardmaker software I use on a computer, it’s the perfect solution when I want to make a few simple things while sitting in the comfy spot on my sofa in the evening or in the middle of a session where I have my iPad but don’t have access to a computer. Seriously cool to be able to create a simple visual support with parent input in the middle of a session and e-mail it to the parent right there. I even used the app to quickly make some minimal contrast pairs in the middle of a session and then used them in chat mode on my iPad with that patient. A busy SLP’s dream come true!

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Video with a few tips:

 

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I have just a few wishes for a future app update to make the app even better:

  • add a freestyle option where buttons of various sizes can be placed anywhere on the page rather than being limited to a grid. I have a patient with limited hand mobility that I want to try symbols in an arch with an empty spot for her hand to rest underneath. It would be awesome to create this type of configuration in this app!
  • make the symbol search more efficient. For example, when I searched for the pronoun “I” it was not at the top of the list…. had to scroll down pretty far to find it. I also noticed a few instances where a particular symbol did not come up as available in a search by the whole word but then did when just the first couple of letters were entered.
  • make the spoken text automatically adjust when editing the symbol on a button. I found that it still spoke whatever the original symbol text was. I was able to fix it by then editing the spoken text but it would be nice to not have to do that extra step.
  • add option to create specific size symbols. I often make 1.5″ x 1.5″ or 2″ x 2″ symbols for PECS books. It would be great to know what size symbols are being made in this app when I will be printing them.
  • include the PCS High Contrast symbol library.
  • add templates for overlays for common mid-tech AAC devices. For example, we still use various sizes of the GoTalk AAC devices at the hospital where I work so it would be cool to be make paper overlays for those.

FYI… the previous version of this app that contained SymbolStix symbols is no longer available in the App Store. If you have that app be sure to back up your iPad with iTunes on your computer so you will still have it in the event of the app being deleted or your iPad having to be restored to factory settings.

UPDATE: If you previously purchased the original app and then lost it because it was not installed on your iPad at the time the app was removed from the App Store, please contact the company at the e-mail address (circ@scopevic.org.au) listed in this comment on their Facebook page on 10/10/16:

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Disclaimer: I received this app via a promo code from the developer. No compensation was received to review it and my opinions are strictly my own.
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 26 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.
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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}