Posts Tagged ‘App review’

{App Reviews} Play Apps for SLPs: Pepi Super Stores, Sago Mini Puppy Preschool & Montessori Nature

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{App Reviews} Play Apps for SLPs: Pepi Super Stores, Sago Mini Puppy Preschool & Montessori Nature

I love finding ways to use well designed kids play based apps to target goals in OMazing Kids speech therapy! The process of doing this is very similar to picking traditional toys to use in therapy. The key is to know what goals you want to target and then pick the materials (or in this case apps) to address them. Some additional considerations for picking good apps include looking for ones with the following features: clean intuitive interface, high quality graphics, voiceovers and sounds with the ability to toggle off background music, no ads, any external links are secured in a parental info area and allows for open-ended exploration.

Here are three new apps that I recently added to my collection. Here are features that make them useful for SLPs:

* Pepi Super Stores by Pepi Play, https://appsto.re/us/05sChb.i, $2.99

Has 12 areas (food court with burgers, Asian food, ice cream, pizza; sporting goods, music store, clothes, jewelry, hair salon, photo booth, grocery store & parking garage) in a shopping mall with numerous opportunities for making choices, describing, spatial concepts, compare/contrast, etc. I love the diverse mix of quirky characters. Things that could be improved in a future update: hide / secure the “new app” info to the grown-ups stuff area or add a way to toggle it off in the iPad settings area & add option to toggle off the music on the home screen (it fades out as soon as you enter the stores but still would be nice to be able to toggle it off)

* Sago Mini Puppy Preschool by Sago Sago, https://appsto.re/us/aXbQfb.i, $2.99

Features 10 puppies with four activity areas targeting counting, shapes, colors and music. It is fun to compare/contrast the various puppies and to target language goals as you play with them. I appreciate that all Sago Mini apps allow you to toggle off the “Sago News” (link to new apps) and the “For Parents” sections in the iPad settings area.

See this post for a picture of the puppies. I use this as a visual support for one of my patients with Autism who has a high interest with knowing the names of characters:

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* Montessori Nature by EDOKI ACADEMY, https://appsto.re/us/6wyBdb.i, $2.99

The app offers a realistic environment in which kids have to plant, nurture, harvest, and sell their crop. Just as real gardening would take time, it takes awhile to go through the process of planting all the way to selling the crops. This app would be fun to incorporate into a gardening theme and could be used in small chunks over several sessions.
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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 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} Flexible Speech USA articulation app

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{App Review} Flexible Speech USA by Flexible Speech Pty. Ltd

iOS Universal app (works on iPad, iPhone or iPod: https://appsto.re/us/FCqV_.i, free trial, $9.99 IAP to unlock ongoing access

Info on how to use the app and more screenshots: http://www.flexiblespeech.com

* 11 Difficulty levels from syllable level to long sentence level
– Level 1: Sound combinations (CV+VC)
– Level 2: CVC words
– Level 3: 2 syllable words
– Level 4: 3+ syllable words
– Level 5: Mixed words
– Level 6: Clusters (blends)
– Level 7: Two word combinations
– Level 8: 3-4 word combinations
– Level 9: 5-6 word combinations
– Level 10: 7-8 word combinations
– Level 11: Clusters (blends) in sentences

* Choose from 22 single sounds and 20 sets of consonant clusters (blends)
* Initial, medial & final positions
* In app video and voice recording options
* Voiceovers and images can be customized

What I liked about the app:
* nice large color photos on a plain background
* quality voiceovers
* the ability to customize items with your own photos and voiceovers
* options to do voice recordings and video recordings and replay each
* how the app is broken down into 11 levels. Especially helpful when helping kids work on articulation beyond the 2 word phrase level. Many other apps have too big of a leap from phrases to very long sentences. This app provides several levels between the two. This feature will be the main reason I use and recommend this app.
* the app calculates a % correct (write it down or take a screenshot since the data is not stored)
* that they offer a free short term trial of the app

FYI…. The app does not currently offer features that some SLPs may be accustomed to (ex: a way to set up multiple users, e-mail results, store data to be compared over time or include a matching game) but I would not necessarily expect those features in an app priced at $9.99 especially since this particular app offers so much content broken down into 11 levels.

Wishes for future app update (have been given to the app developer who indicated that they are planning an update to incorporate them in a couple of months):
* make the icons for the “try again” and “undo” buttons a little more intuitive. The circular arrows are used to score an incorrect response / try again and the minus sign is used to undo a scoring error. In my opinion it would be easier to score if the correct & incorrect / try again buttons were both on the right side of the screen with one below the other.
* add option to do CVs & VCs separately from each other. It would also be nice for CVs and VCs that happen to be real words to have a picture of that word instead of the fluffy monster picture. I am planning on using the customization option to do this.
* add option to select specific types of vocalic /r/ instead of having them all r variations mixed together
* add the ability to upload a photo from the Camera Roll in addition to taking a photo when customizing the app
* add a way to clear out previous voice and video recordings (since the app doesn’t have a way to set up multiple users it will be helpful to be able to clear out these recordings without having to delete and reinstall the app)

Their social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flexispeech
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/flexispeech

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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: https://www.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 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 Reviews} Three apps to help kids with Autism: Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills, Fact & Opinion and Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids

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{App Reviews} Three apps to help kids with Autism: Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills, Fact & Opinion and Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids

Most of the kids on my caseload have Autism or other similar special needs that make social skills very challenging for them. Do you work with kids who tend to think their opinion is a “fact”, have little to no social filter and struggle with having a conversation? Then I recommend taking a look at these three apps:

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Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills: School Ed. by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/p72kgb.i, $14.99

Say It… Or Not?” teaches children with Autism how to filter their thoughts and provide appropriate responses in awkward or frustrating social situations. Over 100 real-life social situations with more than 400 possible responses provide a wide variety of practice in dealing with challenging situations. Students learn perspective-taking when they consider how someone would feel after hearing a specific response. Students also practice identifying if a specific response is “okay to say”. Finally, learners identify which response choice is best in a given situation. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I am loving the content in this app! The scenarios provided are diverse and relatable. Although it takes a little longer for the app to load if you toggle on the “voice on” option, I highly suggest doing so. It will add the option for you to tap a speaker button on each item which then reads it to you. The voiceovers are very well done with great tones of voice. I appreciate that the developer included a way for the SLP to unlock all the content and go directly to an area they want to target.

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Fact & Opinion: Reading Comprehension Skills SE by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/mhV86.i, $4.99

Fact or Opinion’ builds an important comprehension skill in a fun, game-like environment. All kids need to know how to interpret what they read — is it a fact, or is it someone’s opinion? This skill is especially important as they reach the age of accessing information from the internet. This vital skill is built incrementally. Early levels focus on thinking about how to prove and fact/opinion and also how to identify the clue words that are indicative of a fact or opinion. Later levels include timers to ensure fluency. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I am loving the content of this app and how it lays a foundation for how to determine facts vs. opinions and gradually builds in complexity. This app will definitely be getting a lot of use as I help my patients with Autism understand that just because they think something is a certain way doesn’t mean it is a “fact” and that others may hold different “opinions” than they do. The app developer has this app listed with their reading apps but in my world this is very much applicable to social skills.

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Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids: School Edition by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/ZoDNbb.i, $7.99

Conversation Planner teaches your child a step-by-step method to prepare for any conversation or social situation. Kids learn to think about who they are talking to, what that person will expect, when to know the person is ready for the conversation, etc. Conversation Planner gives your child the tools to complete successful conversations. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I love the variety of content included in the app. It is very helpful to have the levels labeled on the screen where you can choose a level. This allows the SLP to quickly chose the level they want to use with a particular patient in a session.

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All 3 apps rewards correct answers with coins that can later be spent getting accessories to dress up a character or playing a short reinforcer game (fruit ninja in Conversation Planner and Say It or Not, a penguin skateboarding game in Fact or Opinion). I like having reinforcer options built into the apps and that they are locked until the child has completed a certain number of items.

My thoughts on the reinforcer games… So a “fact” is I was terrible at the penguin game as evidenced by the poor penguin not making it past more than two dangerous plants every time I tried it. But I totally rocked at fruit ninja (which I’ve had tons of practice with outside of these apps). Therefore my “opinion” is that fruit ninja should be offered as a game option in the Fact or Opinion app…. or maybe I will just need more practice at when to tap so the poor penguin doesn’t crash into a prickly cactus or carnivorous plant…. lol!

Each app has a free lite “try before you buy” version. If you like what you see, I always suggest purchasing the full paid version of any app vs. upgrading a lite app via an in-app purchase.

See info about this developer’s entire line of apps on their website: https://www.happyfrogapps.com. Several are also available for Android devices.

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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 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 Reviews} 5 fun apps from Fox & Sheep: Little Fox Animal Doctor, Unicorn Glitterluck, Pony Style Box, The Orchard & Little Farmers

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{App Reviews} 5 fun apps from Fox & Sheep: Little Fox Animal Doctor, Unicorn Glitterluck, Pony Style Box, The Orchard & Little Farmers

I love using well designed apps in therapy! Especially those that provide opportunities for learning embedded in games and provide motivation for kids to work hard in therapy to earn time playing them. Here are five new additions to my toolbox at OMazing Kids:

* Little Fox Animal Doctor – be a vet by Fox and Sheep GmbH, https://appsto.re/us/F8_X9.i, $2.99

I have several patients who love being a pet doctor and this app is a fave. The app has a simple interface, great 3D graphics and it provides simple options and cues as to what each animal needs in order to feel better. Lots of great opportunities for language and fosters problem solving and empathy. One of my patients who uses the LAMP Words for Life AAC app frequently comments “help” as we help each animal feel better.

The app interface has changed a bit since they released this video but it still gives you a general idea of what the app is like:

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* Unicorn Glitterluck – Rainbow Adventure for kids by Fox and Sheep GmbH, https://appsto.re/us/g-cQ-.i, $2.99

I currently have a 9 year old patient whose skills are more like that of a 6 year old and she absolutely ADORES this app. It is what she chooses to work for at the end of every session. It’s cool to have an app that looks like harder game apps but yet is simple enough to allow her to play it successfully. I love that a level in the game is short enough to be used as a reinforcer at the end of sessions. The section where you decorate the unicorn provides lots of opportunities for choices and descriptive language.

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* Pony Style Box – Dress up your horses by Fox and Sheep GmbH, https://appsto.re/us/liG63.i, $2.99

This app has lots of fun opportunities for descriptive language and verbs as you style and play with your pony.

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* The Orchard by HABA by Fox and Sheep GmbH, https://appsto.re/us/Vv_Sdb.i, $2.99

Fun to target simple turn taking, color matching and working together to get the fruit all picked before Theo the Raven gets to the basket. Watch out as he throws fruit at the screen and tries other tricks to get the fruit.

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* Little Farmers – Tractors and Harvesters for Kids by Fox and Sheep GmbH, https://appsto.re/us/lsPV7.i, $2.99

I’ve had a couple of older patients have fun exploring the small elements in this app. It can be a little tricky figuring out how to operate the items on the screen which can be good for fostering persistence. I personally like their Little Builders app a little better than this one but it’s cool to have both to use with patients who have more advanced visual motor skills.

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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 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 Reviews} 4 more great apps from PlayToddlers: Sweet Home Stories, Dress Up Professions, Animal Puzzle & Shapes Builder

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{App Reviews} 4 more great apps from PlayToddlers: Sweet Home Stories, Dress Up Professions, Animal Puzzle & Shapes Builder

I love using well designed apps in therapy! Here are four new additions to my toolbox at OMazing Kids:

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Sweet Home Stories: I have a couple of patients who LOVE this developer’s daycare app so I was thrilled to try out this newest app with them. Just as I expected, they love this app too! Open-ended play apps are a fun way to teach vocabulary, actions, spatial concepts, turn taking & more. This app has really cool 3D cartoon-like graphics, several fun areas to explore (front courtyard (with a fountain, birdhouse, gate, potted flowers, mailbox & tricycle), living room playroom (with chairs, TV, coffee table, phone, blocks, skateboard, feather duster, lamp, etc.), a kitchen (with realistic food items, sound effects for eating/drinking, stove, dishwasher, silverware, refillable water pitcher, refrigerator, toaster, cat bowl with cat food, drawers/cabinets that can be opened and closed, etc), a kids’ bedroom (with two beds, blankets that send the child to sleep when pulled up, stuffed animals, desk with lamp books and laptop, relaxing color scheme and mobile, etc.), the parents’ bedroom (similar to the kids’ bedroom with the addition of a crib and toys for the baby), a bathroom (with shower, toilet, sink, washing machine, mop, hair dyer, electric shaver, etc.), and a second outdoor area (with seeds, shovel, watering can, garden bed, clothesline, garden cart, rocking chair, guitar, etc..), the option to toggle off separately from most sound effects (but have to toggle it off every time you open the app), and an intuitive interface (arrows make it clear his to get to the next area). The only wishes I have for a future app update would be to allow the parents and kids could “hold” the phone, that the parents could “hold” the baby, for the music player to work when the app background music is toggled off and for the background music to stay toggled off when you close/reopen the app. This app is chock full of great language opportunities and will definitely get LOTS of use in my therapy toolbox!

* Sweet Home Stories – Family playhouse for kids. by Guillermo Fernandez Gonzalez, https://appsto.re/us/xSXMhb.i, $2.99


Dress Up Professions: Adorable illustrations, includes a boy and a girl and outfits for 15 occupations. After the character is dressed you get to paint a picture of it. The app has an intuitive interface and will provide lots of opportunities for language related to occupations, clothing & body parts. My wish for a future update would be for all external links to be hidden in a parent area. They are protected but easily seen at this point. I would also like the option to toggle off the background music while leaving other sound effects on.

* Dress Up : Professions – Occupations puzzle game & Drawing activities by Play Toddlers (Full Version for iPad), https://appsto.re/us/onYMM.i, $2.99

Animal Puzzle: Adorable animal illustrations, includes 48 easy puzzles with options for 4, 6 or 9 pieces organized by subcategories on a bookshelf, the animal is named and after you complete a puzzle it is named again and the animal is shown in a field of 3 choices with the prompt “Where is _______?”. If you tap on the wrong animal, that animal is named without any aversive negative feedback (yippee for no buzzing or no “no, try again”) and the child can keep trying until they tap on the correct animal. Background music can be toggled off separately from other sound effects but it would be nice for it to stay toggled off rather than having to redo that every time you open the app. The app has a nice intuitive interface and will be a fun way to work on animal vocabulary and subcategories of animals.

* Toddler Animal Puzzle – Game for children (Full), https://appsto.re/us/NetIE.i, $2.99


Shapes Builder: Build 36 different items out of easy shapes presented in groups of 6 items on a map on 6 different fun themed islands. I like how the boat travels to each island, the items start out very easy and increase gradually in difficulty, if you try to put a shape in the wrong spot a cue is provided regarding the correct place, the fish is fun to “catch” in each level, that the items are unlocked as you complete them in order but once unlocked can be completed again at any time, you are prompted to swipe a wand across the completed item which then transforms into a 3D “real” item that can be rotated. The way the items are presented on a map provides an incentive to explore to see what other treasures you may find on each island. It is fun to try to guess what the item will be based on the colors of the places for shapes and the overall design. The app provides lots of opportunities for language and could be used with kids individually or as a collaborative game in therapy. Although I liked the music it still would be helpful to have the option to toggle it off separately from other sound effects. It would also be nice to have a way to “reset” the app without having to delete and reinstall it. Ideally this should be added to a secure parent area.

* Shapes Builder – Educational tangram puzzle game for preschool children by Play Toddlers, https://appsto.re/us/bSbOab.i, $2.99


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See my reviews for three more of this developer’s apps at: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2017/01/14/app-review-3-great-apps-from-playtoddlers-my-first-words-happy-daycare-stories-find-it-hidden-objects/


See more of their apps at: http://www.playtoddlers.com
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Follow them on social media:
https://www.facebook.com/PlayToddlers
https://www.twitter.com/PlayToddlers
http://instagram.com/playtoddlers

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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 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 Reviews} 4 Apraxia apps from NACD

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{App Reviews} 4 Apraxia apps from NACD

Available at a discounted price of $16.99 for 4 apps (Speech Therapy for Apraxia – 4 Pack by Blue Whale Apps Inc, https://appsto.re/us/2m9Obb.i) or individually at $4.99 each.


Speech Therapy for Apraxia  by Blue Whale Apps Inc

https://appsto.re/us/FgMJE.i

http://www.nacd.org/products/speech-therapy-for-apraxia-app/
Developed by the National Association for Child Development team, including a certified speech-language pathologist, this app provides choices of different phonemes to target and moves through a progression of levels that challenge motor planning for speech. Working at the syllable level, it begins at the production of single syllables and progresses through increasingly difficult production sequences all the way to the production of sequences of random syllables.

Features

  • Choose from 8 different consonant groups (for a total of 19 consonant sounds) to target.
  • For each group, choose the level at which to practice.
  • Detailed instructions explain how to choose an appropriate consonant group and practice level.
  • Moves through a logical progression of 8 different levels for motor planning for speech.
  • Illustration and audio provided for each syllable.
  • Option to repeat levels, reset, or move to next level.
  • Can also be used for straight articulation drill for particular phonemes.

Speech Therapy for Apraxia – Words by Blue Whale Apps Inc

https://appsto.re/us/-219I.i

http://www.nacd.org/products/speech-therapy-for-apraxia-words-app/

Developed by the National Association for Child Development team, including a certified speech-language pathologist, this app practices articulation at the word level and is a follow-up to the syllable-based app, Speech Therapy for Apraxia. This app provides choices of different patterns of articulation within words and moves through a progression of levels that challenge motor planning for speech. It begins at the production of single words with easier patterns of articulation and progresses through increasingly more difficult production sequences all the way to the production of sequences of random words.

Features

  • Choose from 9 different word groups to target.
  • Words are categorized according to place of articulation of the phonemes and pattern of articulation within the word.
  • For each group, choose the level at which to practice.
  • Detailed instructions explain how to choose an appropriate word group and practice level.
  • Moves through a logical progression of 8 different levels for motor planning for speech.
  • Illustration and audio provided for each word.
  • Option to repeat levels, reset, or move to next level.
  • Can also be used for straight articulation drill for particular types of phonemes.

Speech Therapy for Apraxia – 2 Syllable Words by Blue Whale Apps Inc

https://appsto.re/us/x25VR.i

http://www.nacd.org/products/speech-therapy-for-apraxia-2-syllables-app/

Developed by the National Association for Child Development team, including a certified speech-language pathologist, this app practices articulation of 2-syllable words. Words are organized according to place of articulation of the first and second consonant sounds, and users move through a progression of levels that challenge motor planning for speech. As with the “Words” app, it begins with the production of single words with easier patterns of articulation and progresses through increasingly more difficult production sequences all the way to the production of sequences of random words.

Features

  • Choose from 9 different word groups to target.
  • Words are categorized according to place of articulation of the phonemes and pattern of articulation within the word.
  • For each group, choose the level at which to practice.
  • Detailed instructions explain how to choose an appropriate word group and practice level.
  • Moves through a logical progression of 8 different levels for motor planning for speech.
  • Illustration and audio provided for each word.
  • Option to repeat levels, reset, or move to next level.
  • Can also be used for straight articulation drill for particular types of phonemes.

Speech Therapy for Apraxia – ENDINGS by Blue Whale Apps Inc
https://appsto.re/us/1P0OS.i

http://www.nacd.org/products/speech-therapy-for-apraxia-ending-sounds/

Developed by the National Association for Child Development team, including a certified speech-language pathologist, the Endings app provides choices of different phoneme groups to target in vowel + consonant (VC) syllables. It is organized just like our original app, Speech Therapy for Apraxia, except now the target sounds are in the final position!

Features

  • Choose from 6 different consonant groups (for a total of 19 consonant sounds) to target.
  • For each group, choose the level at which to practice.
  • Detailed instructions explain how to choose an appropriate consonant group and practice level.
  • Moves through a logical progression of 8 different levels for motor planning for speech.
  • Illustration and audio provided for each syllable.
  • Option to repeat levels, reset, or move to next level.
  • Can also be used for straight articulation drill for particular phonemes.

My thoughts about the apps: I like how these apps target very specific skills in small steps in a progression towards improving speech intelligibility. By offering these as four separate apps the developer is providing the opportunity for parents and SLPs to purchase the ones that they need at that moment at an affordable price. But if you anticipate needing all four apps, I recommend getting them in the bundle to get a discount. At this point in time I have not received clarification regarding what the in-app purchase for data collection is supposed to provide so I don’t recommend getting that in any of the apps.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
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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.

{AAC App Review} Grace – Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People

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{AAC App Review} Grace – Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People

 

Info from Lisa Domican, co-creator of the Grace App and mother of Liam and Gracie Domican who both have autism, about how it was developed:

“Many children with autism or speech delay use pictures attached to a board to ask for what they need or say how they feel. These boards are stored in a book which the user carries around with them. Even when they begin to speak, they may be difficult to understand, so they rely on a growing picture vocabulary which can become very unwieldy.

As a mother of a little girl with autism with few words but a lot of pictures, I wanted to keep encouraging her speech development, but I wanted to be sure we always had the pictures we needed, wherever we went. This is why I created Grace App for Autism.

The Grace App stores a basic picture vocabulary of Sentence Makers, Colors, Shapes & Numbers, My Body, Food & Drink, Things I Like, Things I Need and Places on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch with a function for creating a sentence that can be read together. There is also an option for finding and taking photographs of all the other things that each individual user may need.

It is a portable means of supporting the communication development of the user, wherever they go and is proving invaluable in improving vocalizations through consistency of use over time. Grace and the other children have also learned to share what they see and photograph independently, as a result of using the App.

The app is simple as we want the user rather than the carer to take control of choosing and saving pictures, creating sentences and presenting the sentence to a Carer, Teacher, Tutor or Peer in order to have their needs met. I felt that the Grace App was filling a different niche – a much simpler App that could be owned and updated by the user, themselves. It was intended as a follow on from pecs books, with the capacity to add as many photos as you needed.”

See more of her story in her TEDxDublin presentation: https://youtu.be/vYe2Vp6YxK4

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Additional info and my thoughts about the app:

  •  The app description indicates that the app takes 18.1 MB of memory before any customization is done and will run on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch running iOS 8.0 or higher. I tested the app on an iPad Air running iOS 10.1.1 and an iPhone 7 running iOS 10.2 and it showed up as taking a tiny 20 MB of memory out of the box on my iPad and 19.8 MB on my iPhone.

 

  •  The default setting is for this app is to not have voice output when pictures are tapped (see their website for info about why this was designed this way) but you can toggle on basic iOS voice output in the “Settings” area for the app on your device. Scroll down until you see the pink Grace App logo and click on that. Then look all the way down through the settings until you see “Tap to Speak” and select it.  This is also where you will find options to toggle on/off editing & choosing the card size (normal, large & extra large). The app supports 7 iOS languages: English, Arabic, Danish, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. It took quite a bit of searching online to figure out how to do this (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204031; later received: http://www.graceapp.com/blog/grace-app-on-holiday/). Keep in mind that adjusting those settings changes the language for the entire device not just this app. The upside of this is that it also automatically translates the text that you have entered for symbols on the Grace App. I don’t know any foreign languages well enough to know how accurate that translation is but still could be helpful for an adult to program in their native language and then convert it to one of the other 6 languages. The English (U.S.) language option only results in an adult female voice. I could not find options for a male voice or kids voices. This is the downside of relying on the iOS voice options but since this app was not designed to be a voice output AAC option it’s just something potential users need to be aware of if they intend to toggle on the “tap to speak” feature.

 

  •  This app will be a useful tool as a specialty niche app as the app developer has designed it to be. The possibility of teaching an individual with Autism or other special needs to add pictures to customize the app to best suit their interest and needs is empowering.

 

  •  The app was not designed to be a large robust AAC app so it does not come preloaded with thousands of words. It includes 140 pictures divided into 8 categories.

 

  •  In doing a comparison to other AAC apps in my vast collection, I have 5 other AAC apps that have a “PECS-like” feel to them. I looked at the current features & pricing for those apps. I also looked at the pricing history for the Grace App on AppShopper.com and found that the price has ranged from $37.99 to $9.99 (with an exception of being free twice way back in 2011). Based on the features in the Grace App compared to my other similar apps (see list at the end of this post), the current price of $29.99 seems slightly high. In my opinion, a price of $19.99 would be more in line with the features currently offered in this app.

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Bottom Line: The Grace App is a specialty niche AAC app that could be helpful for parents or therapists wanting to transition a child from use of PECS to an iPad-based communication option. I am glad to have the app in my AAC toolbox of options to consider during the feature match process in an AAC eval. I liked that the app can be used on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, the high contrast between the black background and white symbols, that there are three options for symbol sizes, that editing can be toggled off in a secure area and especially liked how easy it would be for the AAC user to take their own pictures within the app as a way to participate in what they want added to it. The ability for an AAC user to do this was a feature unique to this app. It would be nice to have a different way to remove a symbol from the sentence strip since the current method of double tapping caused the symbol to be spoken again. An upward flicking/swiping motion might be more intuitive. The current price of $29.99 would be more fitting if the app contained at least a male and female voice within the app rather than relying on the one native iOS voice for a language. Given the current features and a comparison to other PECS-like AAC apps, a price of $19.99 would seem more fitting.

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App Store: https://appsto.re/us/G7EFv.i, iOS Universal, $29.99

Website: http://www.graceapp.com

App Guide: http://www.graceapp.com/guide-to-grace-app/

Video Tutorials: http://www.graceapp.com/media-press/videos/. If needed, a much more in-depth paid webinar “Six Steps to Success with Grace App” is also available: http://www.bigbraindrain.com/six-steps-success-graceapp/.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GraceApp

Twitter: http://twitter.com/graceapp

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List of other AAC apps that I have with a “PECS-like” feel (listed by current price):

  • PECS Phase III: $5.99 (has ranged from $3.99 to $9.99; not intended to be used as an AAC system but I have had one patient who used PECS at a single symbol level and had a limited number of symbols in her book that transitioned to this app; http://www.pecsusa.com/apps.php)
  • See Me Talk: $9.99 since January 2016 (has ranged from $9.99 to $59.99; https://www.seemetalkapp.com/features)
  • So Much 2 Say: $18.99 since April 2016 (has ranged from $7.99 to $24.99; https://close2homeapps.com/?q=our_apps)
  • Niki Talk: app is free but costs ~ $42.00 to get access to the full version http://www.nikitalk.com/Talk.aspx)
  • PECS IV+: $84.99 (has ranged from $69.99 to $99.99; obviously the most robust option in this category would also be the most expensive. It includes 1,000 Pics for PECS pictures, has the option to include up to 20 tabbed pages and visually looks the most like a real PECS book; http://www.pecsusa.com/apps.php)

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I will be adding this app to my larger post about AAC apps: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/06/11/aac-tips-how-slps-can-get-free-access-to-aac-apps-aac-app-user-groups-funding-options-more/

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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

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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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