Archive for the ‘toys’ Category

Adapted Games for Inclusive Play: Candy Land

Adapted Games For Inclusive Play - Candy Land

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Adapted Games for Inclusive Play: Candy Land

I’ve been looking for a way to make the Candy Land game accessible for kids with special needs and found a great solution by combing an app, a specific version of the board game and ideas from an old journal article and a few websites!

Who knew that there has been SO many different versions of this game over the years and that each version has slightly different pictures on the “picture squares” in the game?

Well there has been and I was determined to get the version of the board game that matched up to this app. Could have sworn that I already had the Candy Land board game but looked through my entire stash of materials and couldn’t find it. If I had found it and it wasn’t the right version, my plan was to take screenshots of the pink picture squares from the app and attach them to the game board to make it match.
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After extensive research I finally figured out which version of the Candy Land board game matches this app. I bought “Candy Land – The Kingdom of Sweets Board Game” (2010) on Amazon for $7.49: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00000DMF5 and this app for $.99 (Candy Cards by Panther Technology,  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/candy-cards/id554983778?mt=8 , iOS 3.2 or later, Universal app that works on iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch). I was initially leery of the app since it had not been updated since 2012 but at the price of $.99 decided to try it out. I’m pleased to report that it worked fine on my iPad Air (running iOS 9.3.1) and on my iPhone 5 (running iOS 9.3.2). The only quirky thing I noted when using the app on an iPhone is that the app did not adjust to landscape orientation and had a small black band of dead space at the top and bottom of the screen.

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Check out all the options in this app’s settings area:

Under “Accessibility” settings:

  •  “Safety Time”: For kids who tend to tap repetitively, you can lock the screen for 2, 3, 5 or 10 seconds after drawing each card. That means focus can stay on the game instead of “stimming” on the iPad screen.
  • The “Target” feature can be centered, appear at random places, or even move around the screen if you are wanting to work on “targeted touch”. When “target” is toggled off, you can tap anywhere on the screen to “draw” a card (great for kids with more severe motor impairments).

Under “Play Settings”, you can toggle on/off the background music, the card count, and sound effects and select one of four backgrounds (grey metal, orange, candy stripe and my personal fave… a calming green).

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See more about the app on the developer’s website: http://panthertechnology.com/products/panther-candy-cards/

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So for the bargain price of $8.48 I now have a version of this classic kids game that is more inclusive of kids of a wide range of abilities and needs. I plan on modifying play further when I am in a group or have parents and/or siblings present by playing as “teams” where one teammate’s job is to “draw” the card using the app and the other teammate’s job is to move the game piece. Another option in a 1-on-1 session would be for you and the child to use it as a “cooperative” game and work together as a team to move one of the game pieces to the castle.

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I am also planning on incorporating the ideas for adaptations & task analysis from the journal article “Everyone Can Play!: Adapting the Candy Land Board Game TEACHING Exceptional Children July-August 1996 28: 28-33” (yes I realize the article is 20 years old but the concepts are still valid today). I saved a PDF of the full article out on Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1p1pimgnjmm52wp/Everyone%20Can%20Play%20-%20Adapting%20the%20Candy%20Land%20Board%20Game.pdf?dl=0

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{No Prep SLP Tips: Candy Land} https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/07/28/no-prep-slp-tips-candy-land/

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Additional ideas:

Check out these great Pinterest boards full of game adaptation ideas:

And lots of materials created by SLPs on TPT: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/PreK-12-Subject-Area/Speech-Therapy/Search:candy+land. I especially like this self esteem conversation prompts freebie: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Self-Esteem-Prompts-for-Candy-Land-1152578

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Oooh… just saw this fun idea to combine Candy Land + the Name That Word Game. Love finding new ways to use materials that I already own! I got my copy of that game several years ago at a back-to-school sale at a teacher supply store but saw that it’s available on Amazon.

http://millionsoffingerprints.blogspot.com/2013/05/today-in-speech-therapywe-played-candy.html

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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}

The iPad & the SLP Toolbox

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Super Duper artic flashcards, Fisher Price Puppy’s Home, Fisher Price Piggy Bank, Cranium Cariboo, PlayDoh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, communication devices, TPT printable products. All very common items in the typical SLP toolbox. Nobody freaks out if you mention them. Nobody asks “Where’s the evidence based data?” for use of the “Cranium Cariboo” game or “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. But mention use of an iPad in therapy and you will likely encounter a very different response.

I feel a need to write this post since I frequently see posts or comments in SLP Facebook groups about how they would “never” use an iPad in therapy (thanks in part to ASHA’s misguided assault on tech use in the past two BHSM campaigns). That’s unfortunate since those SLPs are truly missing an important tool in their toolbox. It would be like a home builder refusing to use an electric nail gun and only building homes by hand with a hammer and nails.

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Many high quality apps specifically designed by SLPs for SLPs allow you to do in-app data collection, look at data over time, e-mail reports, and swipe through stimulus cards rapidly which allows you to get in more reps. Plus many kids are highly motivated by anything presented on an iPad. Having most of the major robust AAC apps at my fingertips to try at any moment has been life changing for many of my patients (be watching for a post soon with tips on how to get free access to many AAC apps if you are a SLP that does frequent AAC evals and funding recommendations).

I use apps extensively in my work as a SLP. My iPads with high quality apps are by far one of the best tools in my speechie toolbox! I have seen countless patients who had meltdowns at the sight of traditional flashcards but when shown similar activities on an iPad are immediately engaged. I’ve also had kids who were so impulsive that flashcards were constantly either getting ripped or flying off the table. Of course I’ve also had patients who view the iPad as a “toy” but most learn that my main therapy iPad is for “work” or to be used as a “talker” (AAC device). When needed, I lock it into Guided Access and NEVER let anyone see the secret code to unlock it and almost always have a firm grip on one of the handles of the GripCase (any “builder” would be protective of their costly and important tools… right?). I also never leave my personal iPad laying around in a treatment room. It is always in my possession. By strictly following these “rules”, I have never had a cracked screen or had an iPad stolen. I have a second iPad in a different colored GripCase with high quality kids apps that kids can earn time playing for a couple of minutes at the end.

Of course I still use traditional flashcards, worksheets, toys, crafts, music, books, games, etc. as other “tools” in my well equipped speechie toolbox (my toolbox is overflowing with stuff… see my post on SLP Hoarders). Being a good “builder” of speech & language skills requires making good clinical judgements in selecting the right tools for the job in that moment.

I bought my first iPad in December 2012 with Christmas $$$ and quickly bought a second one the following February with birthday $$$ realizing that I needed one iPad to be an AAC and therapy device and another one with “fun” well designed kids apps that kids could request or work for as reinforcers (not fair to take away the “voice” of a patient while playing in language rich apps). A few months later I won an iPad Mini in a giveaway and it has been a valuable tool to trial AAC apps on a more portable sized “talker”.

Since 2012, I’ve only encountered two patients so far that I could not use the iPad in some way. Both had huge meltdowns over the iPad being locked into Guided Access that. So the iPad was not part of the tools I used with them. But for the hundreds of other patients in that I’ve seen in that timeframe, it has been a very important and highly valuable tool.

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Not sure how to find high quality apps? I invite you to join me over on my OMazing Kids Facebook page and in my AppPeeps Facebook group where I post frequently about apps (see links below).

I post most info about apps on Facebook as a picture post in an album specifically for apps. There are currently two of these albums. Feel free to browse through them to see what you may have missed but be aware that prices and availability may have changed.

This older one is “full” (since 1,000 is the max). https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.562317480485928.1073741841.174264525957894&type=3

All new posts are being put in album #2: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1039368119447526.1073741892.174264525957894&type=3

I also typically cross post in the AppPeeps to help insure folks see the posts.

A few tips:

  •  I only post about apps that I have actually downloaded and tried and only post about those that I see as being either helpful in therapy, classroom or to parents of kids with special needs. There are thousands of apps in the App Store so it can be difficult to find ones to best meet our needs as SLPs.
  • When you see me post about an app being free or on sale, I always verify the price in the USA App Store prior to posting about it. But unless an app developer has shared info about sale dates, I have no way to know how long an app will be free or reduced. So it’s always best to grab apps quickly and to verify the price before downloading. App prices often change at 10:00pm CST but can change at any time with no notice.
  • App prices vary in other countries depending on the exchange rate compared to the US dollar and apps may not be available in every country.
  • If you don’t have an iPad yet or don’t have the iOS updated to the level required for a particular app, you can still take advantage of app freebies, sales and giveaways via logging onto the App Store in iTunes on your computer. Those apps will then be available to download later from the cloud.
  • I only post about iOS apps since I don’t have any Android devices.
  • Many SLP apps & AAC apps are very large so I always suggest that you get an iPad with the largest memory you can afford. Even with two 128GB iPad Airs, I am still constantly playing the “app shuffle” where I delete apps to make room to install others.
  • It’s wise to make sure an app is still available in the App Store before you delete it from your iPad since apps occasionally are removed and you would have no way to reinstall it unless you had plugged your iPad into a computer and backed it up to iTunes (a process that I know I should do more frequently).
  • It’s wise to hold off on updating to the latest iOS until it has been out for awhile and the glitches have been worked out (learned that the hard way after one of my iPads “bricked” and had to be restored to factory settings – wiped clean. The process of reinstalling and organizing apps can be tedious and I lost a couple of apps that had not been backed up).
  • It’s wise to toggle off the setting to automatically download app updates. I always look first to see what the update entails.
  • I occasionally receive promo codes to give out in app giveaways. What are app “promo codes”? App developers receive a certain number of promo codes when they release or update an app. They often give these out as a way to help spread the word about their app. If you see a “code drop”, a code is not actually “yours” until you successfully redeem it in the App Store.
  • How do I redeem a promo code? Open the App Store on your iPad. Tap the ‘Featured’ tab on the bottom navigation bar. Scroll down to the bottom and tap the ‘Redeem’ button. Enter the Promo Code and tap the ‘Redeem’ button.
  • What is a “Universal” app? Apps with the “+” sign in the corner are Universal meaning they can work on an iPhone, iTouch or iPad. Sometimes older devices are no longer supported and app developers typically indicate that in the app description.
  • The cool thing about apps is that dependable app developers continue to improve apps over time based on the feedback that they receive from users and release updates to keep apps compatible with the latest iOS operating system. So if you see a glitch in an app or have a suggestion for an improvement, please let that app developer know via e-mail, the contact form on their website or Facebook messaging. Most are very appreciative of feedback from those of use using the product in the trenches. Where else can you purchase something, make suggestions and then get free updates for a product?
  • I usually avoid apps that have ads and in-app purchases since they are distracting to patients. Be sure to know how to adjust the settings on your iPad to prevent kids from making purchases & how to use it in “airplane mode” to block most ads.
  • Guided Access: If you will be using the iPad with kids, then Guided Access is your new BFE (Best. Feature. Ever!). It can be used to disable the home button and lock the child into an app. Especially critical if you will be using the iPad as an AAC device or using it in therapy with kids with poor impulse control. Here is the PDF guide that I share with families. It shows how to set it up step by step: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2015/12/30/how-to-use-guided-access-to-prevent-exiting-an-app-best-feature-ever/
  • How to free up memory on your iPhone or iPad: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/11/01/ios-hack-free-up-memory-on-your-iphone-or-ipad/
  • Game Apps & AAC: why these need to be on separate devices:
    https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/07/31/game-apps-aac-why-these-need-to-be-on-separate-devices/
  • Some great tips & reminders: http://adventuresinspeechpathology.com/the-slps-ipad-resolutions-for-2017/
  • AAC apps and tips on how SLPs can get free access to trial them with patients: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/06/11/aac-tips-how-slps-can-get-free-access-to-aac-apps-aac-app-user-groups-funding-options-more/
  • Apps to target core vocabulary: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/10/01/appy-aac-awareness-month-favorite-apps-for-teaching-aac-core-vocabulary/
  • Save tons of time, ink & laminating film by saving PDFs of materials to iBooks. The open the document on your iPad for instant no-prep activities.

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Are you an iOS App Developer and would like help beta-testing an app or would like to have your apps featured on OMazing Kids? Feel free to contact me via Facebook Messaging on OMazing Kids (I check it much more frequently than e-mail).

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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 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}

{Teaching Prepositions & Spatial Concepts} Free Printable Preposition and Spatial Concept Activity Cards for the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Activity Home and GoTalk Now Plus AAC Template

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{Teaching Prepositions & Spatial Concepts} Most of the kids on my caseload have Autism or other special needs that tend to make understanding spatial concepts and using prepositions very challenging. I use a combination of visual supports, real objects, movement, AAC and apps when tackling these goals.

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I uploaded a template to the Attainment Company, Inc.‘s GoTalk Now AAC Online Gallery for “Prepositions & Spatial Concepts for the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Activity Home”. Includes front, back, side, in front, behind, beside, through, in & out. Search for “puppy” in the public gallery from within the app to find it.

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free printable preposition and spatial concept cards - OMazing Kids

I made a set of 30 two-sided printable activity cards for the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Activity Home inspired by ones in the Positional Words Resource Box by Lakeshore Learning and the Hello Sunshine Game by Think Fun (both are fabulous visual ways to teach kids about prepositions & spatial concepts). The cards are color coded (10 brown for the puppy, 10 purple for the monkey, 5 orange for the car & 5 green for the frog) and the preposition is in that same color to make it stand out from the rest of the text.

Tip: Leave the cards attached in the middle, fold on the line, put a tiny dab of glue stick under the edge and then laminate the cards.

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I bought my Puppy’s Activity Home during a recent online sale at Toys ‘R Us: http://t.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=30499426 and bought the monkey & car set on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Laugh-Learn-Monkeys-Learning/dp/B00FNMNLD8

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I am continuing to share FREE printable resources like this on my blog in the hopes that I inspire other speechies to do the same. There are tons of SLP blogs now but most are primarily geared towards selling their TPT products.

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A peek at the apps currently in the “prepositions” folder on my iPad.

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I love the Hello Sunshine game. Unfortunately it appears that it is no longer readily available …. definitely worth adding to your list of things to look for at garage sales or thrift shops.

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The Positional Words Resource Box is a “must have” for any SLP working with kids. It briefly went off the market so I grabbed mine as soon as I saw it was back.

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UPDATE: Head over to this new post for free printable Puppy’s Pronouns & Sentence Building Cards.

‪#‎SLPbloggers‬ ‪#‎BHSM‬ ‪#‎BHSM2016‬

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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}

 

3 Favorite Toys: Wonder Wheel, Ball Mountain & Ball Drop Tower

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As I was organizing my stash of therapy toys I noticed that the last 3 toys I bought all have similar sensory properties. Most of the kids on my caseload have Autism and it is always an adventure to find things to spark their interest enough for them to engage and communicate. With over 25 years experience as a SLP under my belt I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting toys with features that many of my patients with Autism will LOVE 😉

  • The Wonder Wheel has been great for targeting go/stop, fast/slow, on/off (the suction cup is a little difficult for most kids to remove from the table with out help). It has also been a fave with one of my patients who has a visual impairment. It has a very pleasant sound similar to a rainstick.

 

  • The wooden one has been named “ball mountain” by one of my patients. It has been magical to watch his play evolve over several session from self exploration -> tolerating an adult to sit near him -> showing enjoyment with an adult sitting near him -> him imitating inviting an adult to play with him -> him spontaneously inviting an adult to play with him and sustaining several minutes of joint attention during play. The bell has a very pleasant sensory-friendly tone.

 

  • The ball drop tower set was quite a bargain when I found one that came with a set of two priced similarly to a single. Great for targeting short/tall, go/stop, on/off, together/apart, more, roll, through, around, down, hole and colors. The balls have tiny balls inside them with a faint rainstick-like sound. This one had so many language opportunities that I made symbols for it for PECS and Aided Language Stimulation. I keep symbols in the container with that toy so they are always available. When a particular patients shows interest in that toy then I add those symbols to their PECS book, AAC app or AAC device.

 

Here is a PDF of those symbols. The larger symbol is what I put on the outside of the toy storage container: Ball Drop Tower – free printable symbols for PECS or for Aided Language Stimulation – from OMazing Kids

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Ball Drop Tower symbols

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I bought all 3 on Amazon:

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#SLPeeps #over25YearsExperienceWorkingWithKidsWithAutism  #LoveShoppingOnAmazon #SLPblogger

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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 25 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. I have no control over ads nor do I profit from them}