Posts Tagged ‘#SLPblogger’

{Five Faves} Five of my favorite apps by Smarty Ears: Phono Learning Center, Minimal Pairs Academy, Fun & Functional, Go-Togethers & Basic Concepts Skills Screener

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{Five Faves} Five of my favorite apps by Smarty Ears: Phono Learning Center, Minimal Pairs Academy, Fun & Functional, Go-Togethers & Basic Concepts Skills Screener.

I’m sure by now all of my SLPeeps have heard of Smarty Ears apps. They have a large line of apps specifically designed for SLPs by SLPs. This post is highlighting five of my faves chosen because they each meet a unique need. My comments are based on the features available in the most recent version of the app in the USA App Store at the time of this post. 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.

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Phono Learning Center by Smarty Ears
https://appsto.re/us/aqv6M.i

How it’s unique: Specifically designed for using the Cycles Approach when working with kids with very poor intelligibility and several phonological process disorders.

In depth info: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/phono-learning-center/

Here’s what I love about this app:
* All of the target words were carefully selected for each sound level with co-articulation and facilitation considered.
* Easy user set up.
* If using the Cycles hierarchy, only one process at a time may be targeted. Targets are easily changed by editing the profile. If you chose not to be restricted to the Cycles hierarchy, it is possible to target multiple sounds at once.
* You can change the scoring style. The Standard scoring is incorrect, almost correct, and correct (or missed, almost, and got it). The Level of Prompts scoring incorporates the errorless learning theory suggested in the Cycles technique. With this style, it is expected for the student to be nearly 100% accurate and the level of prompts is used to mark if the word was produced prompted, imitated, or spontaneously correct.
* Includes an auditory bombardment activity
* Includes four game activities (inflating a hot air balloon, matching, shooting hoops with crumpled paper & filling in a jigsaw puzzle) and it’s very easy to switch between them without having to start over. Kids with severe phonological disorders can be challenging to engage in speech therapy so game-based activities like these are worth their weight in gold. Ever had a patient have earth shattering meltdowns at even the sight of traditional flashcards? You seriously need to consider other ways to entice engagement and this is a fabulous tool to have in your speechie toolbox.
* Single and multiplayer options
* Data collection and reports
* Lots of free printable homework sheets
* My wishes for a future app update are adding an option to slow down the pace of the auditory bombardment & make it more obvious when a target has been selected by either having a check or a darker highlighting around that item. It would also be nice to be able to see specific items missed in the user reports, to be able to share a report from a specific session and to be able to delete data from a particular session without having to delete the user.

Video tutorial:

More info about the Cycles Approach:

How to Use the Cycles Approach for Speech Therapy

http://www.speechandlanguage.com/ebp/pdfs/ebp_v5_article2_old.pdf

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Minimal Pairs Academy by Smarty Ears
https://appsto.re/us/oVi1C.i

How it’s unique: Targeting phonological processes via minimal contrast pairs.

In depth info: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/minimal-pairs-academy/

Here’s what I love about this app:
* Easy user set up.
* Includes auditory bombardment, auditory discrimination, production (large card facing up that has the target word and a smaller card facing down that has the corresponding minimal pair) & fill in the blank phrases.
* Targets lots of different phonological processes (cluster reduction, deaffrication, devoicing, final consonant deletion, fronting, gliding, initial consonant deletion, prevocalic voicing, stopping & stridency deletion – many broken out into sub-categories) with the option to edit lists within each to deselect particular word pairs.
* In-app recording option
* Single and multiplayer options
* Data collection and reports
* My wishes for a future app update would be the addition of printable worksheets like those available in Phono Learning Center and a mini reinforcer game. It would also be nice to be able to see specific items missed in the user reports, to be able to share a report from a specific session and to be able to delete data from a particular session without having to delete the user.

Video:

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Fun & Functional by Smarty Ears
https://appsto.re/us/rskUD.i

How it’s unique: Goes beyond your typical name or identify vocabulary apps to get kids to think about the function or use of common items in the context of Wh-questions.

In depth info: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/fun-functional/

Here’s what I love about this app:
* Targets receptive and expressive language skills. Great options in settings area select to do just receptive, just expressive or alternate between them.
* Easy user set up
* Option to adjust the field of choices (2, 3 or 4) in receptive activities
* Options for setting what happens when an incorrect answer is selected (keep going, remove the item or buzz)
* Several categories with the option to toggle each on/off
* Option to select receptive vocabulary that is less similar to make the activity less challenging or more similar to make it more challenging
* Data collection and reports with basic info.
* My wishes for a future app update would be to have the option to toggle off the “yeah” auditory feedback on correct answers (it gets a little over stimulating after awhile) & to add a multiuser option to this app to make it more useful in groups. It would also be nice to be able to see specific items missed in the user reports, to be able to share a report from a specific session and to be able to delete data from a particular session without having to delete the user.

Video tutorial:

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Go-Togethers by Smarty Ears
https://appsto.re/us/FfRGE.i

How it’s unique: Targets the ability to identify and generate words that “go together” in semantic associations (a critical language skill that relates to vocabulary and word retrieval)

In depth info: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/togethers/

Here’s what I love about this app:
* Easy user set up
* Lots of categories of vocabulary and the option to select just the ones you want included. Easier categories are in Level 1 & more challenging ones on Level 2.
* The receptive activity can be done by either drawing a line with your finger to the correct answer(s) or tapping them. Some kids have difficulty swiping in a specific direction on the iPad so it’s helpful to have tapping as an option.
* The expressive activity includes scoring options for the child naming items that go with the pictured item separately from telling why
* The ability to delete data for a particular session without having to delete that user.
* My wishes for a future app update would be an easier to read font for the users names, add the option to toggle off the auditory feedback on correct answers (it gets a little over stimulating after awhile), add a multiuser option to this app to make it more useful in groups, make it more obvious on how to get to the category lists in the settings area and to be able to share a report from a specific session.

Video tutorial:

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Basic Concepts Skills Screener by Smarty Ears
https://appsto.re/us/I1h8N.i

How it’s unique: It’s an awesome quick way to assess understanding of basic concepts and is especially helpful for kids who are too old for standardized tests targeting those concepts.

In depth info: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/basic-concepts-skills-screener/

Here’s what I love about this app:
* Motivating format for assessing understanding of basic concepts
* No negative feedback is provided. The user gets the same feedback regardless of their answer.
* The app will not progress to the next screen until the NEXT button in the bottom right corner has been tapped. The picture that is selected when the NEXT button is tapped is the one that is scored. If no picture is selected when the NEXT button is tapped, a pop-up message will show explaining that there must be a selection made.
* The display in the corner lets you know that you have completed ____ of ______ items.
* The report provides a wealth of details about specific items missed, data by type of concept (comparative, quantitative, spatial, temporal) & percent by typical age of mastery (age 3, 4, 5 & 6)
* Options to do a quick screening (30 items) or a full screening (79 items). I always pick the full screening and can easily get it done in one session. But if needed, you can save the screening and continue later.
* My wishes for a future app update would be to make a couple of the images a little clearer (ex: beginning to grow – the plant in the hand is too similar to the smallest one in the ground; old – very few of my patients have tapped on the picture of the elderly man. I have wondered if it may be due to that Smarty Symbol not having clothes and the other 3 do) and to add the option to either turn off the auditory feedback when a selection has been tapped or to make it quieter (it can be a little over stimulating for some patients but I don’t want to turn down the sound on the iPad due to that impacting the loudness of the voiceovers on the testing prompts).

This app is seriously one of the most used on my iPad. I work with kids up to 21 years of age and most are not functioning anywhere near their age level. This app has come in very helpful in identifying gaps in understanding of basic concepts so treatment can be more specifically targeted.

Video tutorial:


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Disclaimer: I received all 5 of these apps via promo codes from the developer. 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}

{Awesome Book} “Social Skills Matter!, Grades PK – 2: Social Narrative Mini-Books” by Christine Schwab & Kasandra S. Flora, M.S., CCC-SLP

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Wow! Look what arrived today: “Social Skills Matter!, Grades PK-2: Social Narrative Mini-Books” by Christine Schwab & Kasandra S. Flora, M.S., CCC-SLP.

I’m very impressed with this book full of 84 reproducible social skill mini-books + award certificates. I bought my copy on Amazon for $24.54 with free shipping. That’s a bargain at $.29 per social story. It was co-authored by a SLP and by how well written they are I would guess that she has extensive experience working with kids with Autism. My go-to resources these days are mainly things I can grab and go. Yes I occasionally write my own social stories to fit very specific needs but having a book like this is worth it’s weight in gold for a busy SLP. Can’t wait to use these in OMazing Kids speech-language therapy 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/Social-Skills-Matter-Grades-Mini-Books/dp/1483800156
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See a more extensive peek inside the book on the publisher’s website: http://bit.ly/27igQgh

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Including a few screenshots here from that preview:

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It’s very important to be respectful of kids sensory needs when teaching eye contact. I often teach kids how to approximate eye contact by periodically glancing at anything in the facial region to “check in”. Love this illustration from the book:

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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}

{Free Printable} Irregular Past Tense Cards & Research on Developmental Sequence

Irregular Past Tense Cards and norms

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I stumbled across research on the developmental sequence for irregular past tense verbs as I was writing new goals for one of my 6 year old patients. I had always found myself a bit frustrated with the existing card decks available to target irregular past tense when first introducing them to young kids. Now I realize why. There is a wide range of ages in which these develop. So I created cards in Boardmaker to target the earliest developing ones. I am also sharing a data collection sheet with the norms included.

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Click here for a 3-page PDF of the cards & data collection sheet:  Free printable cards and data collection sheet for Irregular Past Tense Verbs – ages 3.5 to 6.5

Click here to read the research article: Irregular Past Tense – research on developmental sequence

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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}

{SLP Hoarders} How I organize my stash….

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I have accumulated a HUGE stash of stuff over the past 26 years as a SLP. By “huge” I mean of hoarder proportions (you know you have ALOT of stuff when folks ask for a personal invitation to your garage sale when you retire). Part of the issue is that I work with kids 0-21 years of age with a wide range of needs and abilities.

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Dana at the Uncommon Sense Blog recently did a Facebook post asking how folks organize their stuff:

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So that inspired this blog post. I seriously could be on an episode of SLP Hoarders. Based on posts in several SLP Facebook groups, I know that I’m no alone. I have a stash of stuff at work that is only the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few pics of how I organize the stash at work & the even bigger stash at home.

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Work:

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This is my jumbo binder where I store extra PECS symbols. I bought the largest binder available at Office Max. The interior pages are organized by category. Larger categories are broken up alphabetically. I also store symbols with the toys they go with by velcroing them inside the lid and/or on choice boards inside. This is so I can grab and go. If a particular patient is using an AAC device, AAC app or PECS and likes a particular toy, then I add those symbols to their device or book. But we get inpatients at the hospital where I work who don’t have formal AAC yet but we are exploring it with them during their 30-day admission and having symbols stored with the toys insures that I can offer choices “on the fly”.

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I have my extra visual schedules and visual supports in 3 clear hanging wall pockets:

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At home I have books organized by theme on bookcases & in tubs. I store the symbols and story props with each book:

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Oh and then there is the guest bedroom where our dog’s crate is. She told me she doesn’t mind sharing it with the rest of my SLP hoarder stash:

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I’m pretty sure I own almost every extra “parts & pieces” set for Mr. Potato Head:

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Oh and then there is the entire walk in closet in that room….. umm yeah.

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So there it is. This is my SLP stash and how I organize it.  I have promised my husband that none of it is coming with us when I retire and we move to the mountains in 23 months. So stay tuned for a SLP retirement garage sale of epic proportions. Not sure yet if I will sell my stash online or in-person… either way it will be announced on my OMazing Kids page with personal invites to my closest therapy peeps 🙂

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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}

{Articulation Testing Apps} Reviews and Comparison of Articulation Test Center, Sunny Articulation Phonology Test Kit & Test of Articulation and Phonology (iTap)

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This review is a comparison of 3 articulation testing apps based on full versions of each app updated to most current versions in the USA App Store on 5/7/16:

Test of Articulation and Phonology (iTap) – FULL by Smarty Ears
https://appsto.re/us/4DCKab.i, regularly $74.99, on sale for $44.99 on 4/30-5/8/16. App video tutorial:

Full info about this app has not been posted yet on the company’s website.

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Sunny Articulation Phonology Test Kit by Smarty Ears
https://appsto.re/us/xNuiw.i, regularly $49.99, on sale for $29.99 on 4/30-5/8/16. In depth info: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/sunny-articulation-phonology-test/. App video tutorial:

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Articulation Test Center by Little Bee Speech
https://appsto.re/us/C59VP.i, regularly $49.99, will be on sale for $39.99 on 5/10-5/13/16. In depth info: http://littlebeespeech.com/articulation_test_center.php.

App video tutorials:

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So here are my thoughts in comparing all 3 apps:

  • I like the exporting options in iTap & Sunny. It’s nice to have the option to export the results as a PDF as well as editable text. Articulation Test Center just exports it as editable text (adding a PDF option would be a wish for a future update for this app).
  • I like more of the features in Sunny vs. iTap. In particular, the info that shows x of x is helpful to know where you specifically are in the test (also used in Articulation Test Center) vs. the progress dots at the bottom of iTap. I also like the testing options available in Sunny: quick consonant screener, r screener and full test with or without scoring vowels. The scoring seemed to be a little more intuitive in Sunny vs. iTap.
  • There are even more testing options available in Articulation Test Center: Screener (quickly test sounds based on age: 2 yrs, 3-4yrs, 5 yrs, 6+ yrs) & Full Test (within that you can do the entire test or specify what subareas to target: initial sounds, medial sounds, final sounds, initial blends, vowels, r sounds and speech sample). And based on your selection, the app tells you how many stimulus cards will be included.
  • In iTap and Articulation Test Center, I like that you can add a photo or avatar for the student. This is not an option in Sunny.
  • In iTap and Sunny, the scoring is initially more intuitive but Articulation Test Center is also very easy to score after watching the in app tutorial. Articulation Test Center provides additional info that makes scoring vowels and phonological processes easier.
  • Articulation Test Center allows you to fully score each part of a blend separately. This is helpful when you have a patient who exhibits errors on both parts.
  • All 3 apps have a way to adjust the setup when a patient is seated across from you vs next to you. In iTap and Sunny, test probe word can flipped. In Articulation Test Center, the test probe picture can be flipped.
  • Articulation Test Center includes 3 options for speech sample scenes (Mountain Adventure, Beach Day & Fun At The Park). Each scene has the option to toggle the background sounds off/on, swipe to explore the scene, discussion prompts that pop up when you tap items in the scene, in-app recording to record a speech sample and the option to rate intelligibility. It is especially cool that you can choose to just use this portion of the app. The scenes are filled with great details that would lend themselves well to speech-language therapy. It would be really cool if the app developer added them to their Articulation Station App in a future update.
  • Sunny has 11 sentence scenes with in-app recording, the option designate the production as reading or repetition & the option to enter notes. Targeted sounds can be scored as correct or incorrect but no other specific scoring of errors is available in this portion of the test (which makes sense since you would lose the flow of the sentence if detailed scoring was attempted).
  • Articulation Test Center includes suggestions for sounds to target based on developmental norms and the age at the time of testing.
  • Sunny is a “universal” app that works on an iPad, iPhone or iTouch. iTap and Articulation Test Center only work on an iPad. This is not an issue for me since I only use my iPad in therapy (the facility where I work prohibiting us from carrying cell phones in areas where patients are present). I would imagine that scoring might be difficult on an iPhone unless it was the largest size. But folks who don’t have access to an iPad but do have an iPhone may want to consider Sunny as an option.
  • I see some potential problems in using the iTap as a “standardized” test. The test was only normed on 199 children ages 3;0 to 10;11 in central Texas. This may not be an issue if you are dealing with private pay clients but will likely pose a problem with other payers such as Medicaid or private insurance. I have requested a copy of the normative data to look it more closely. BAPA norming info is available at: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/bilingual-articulation-phonology-assessment/.
  • A suggestion that I have for all 3 apps for future updates would be to add an easy scoring option for frontal and lateral distortions on sibilants. These are common errors and it’s important to be able to distinguish between them. Having these quick scoring options would be easier than having to document this in a notes section. Another suggestion for all 3 apps would be for the app to automatically determine a phonological process based on the error entered on that sound. It’s a bit time consuming to have to select info in both places for each targeted sound.

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A few screenshots (tap each to enlarge):

Articulation Test Center

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Sunny

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iTap

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So as you can see, there are features that I like in each app. I have used all three and pick one in that moment based on the features I need for a particular patient. But not everyone has access to all three apps and I have seen questions several times in a variety of SLP Facebook groups asking for purchasing recommendations/advice. I always hate to pick “faves” since I run the risk of offending app developers who have been very generous to provide access to their apps but enough SLPs have asked for advice that I am making an exception to my usual “rule”.

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The bottom line: At this point in time I would recommend Articulation Test Center by Little Bee Speech as my first place pick with Sunny Articulation Phonology Test Kit by Smarty Ears being a close second. If you happen to work in Central Texas, then you may want to consider the Test of Articulation and Phonology (iTap) – FULL by Smarty Ears as a standardized option. For those of us outside that geographical area, the cost difference is not warranted and the norms will not really benefit you.
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Disclaimer: I received all 3 of these apps via promo codes from the developers. No compensation was received to review them and my opinions are strictly my own. Apps and the features within them change frequently as app updates are released. Both of these app developers have an excellent track record of supporting their apps and providing frequent updates. So my recommendations may shift in the future based on whatever features are available at that moment.
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My dream articulation testing app: I dream of an articulation testing app that is standardized on a nationwide basis in the USA and has all the features, in-app scoring and reporting options that the three apps described above have without requiring you to purchase protocols (either in printed format or as in-app purchases) or pay an annual user license. But given the costs associated with standardizing a test on that broad of a scale and the $$$$$ that traditional test companies make on us having to purchase protocols, I’m not sure we will ever see an app like that. But a speechie can still dream 🙂
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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}

{Dear ASHA} With all due respect…..

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Dear ASHA, in response to your “with all due respect” reply, a poll of 3,000 of 186,000 ASHA members and only 307 respondents does NOT reflect the opinions of the majority of us. Instead of providing an unbiased opportunity for members to express our thoughts on the top concerns facing our profession and the families we serve, this poll had a slant towards the negative aspects of tech. What about all the fabulous possibilities of tech such as AAC use, adapted play & therapeutic use of an iPad with high quality apps?
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Instead of just repeating the standard advise parents receive regarding limiting tech from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Technology Association, National PTA or reporters, ASHA is the position to provide important information about how we can support parents in developing communication, language and play skills with their children through appropriate uses of technology such as:
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  • Ideas on how to support play and language acquisition through technology for toddlers with special needs.
  • The importance of early access to robust AAC options and information about how to find the Assistive Technology Lending Library programs and SLPs who specialize in AAC in each state.
  • Ideas on how to incorporate technology and social language skills/small talk interventions for adults and teens who use AAC.
  • Ideas on how to incorporate video modeling into language interventions for children who are keen video fans/youtube enthusiasts.
  • Ideas on how technology can be used to support emergent readers and writers who cannot use traditional materials such as paper books and lead pencils.
  • Ideas on how parents can talk with their children as they actively engage in interactive play with apps such as Toca Boca Tea Party, My PlayHome, Sago Mini Friends, etc.
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    These ideas were inspired by this fabulous comment by Mary-Louise Bertram on your post: https://www.facebook.com/asha.org/posts/10153650304700318?comment_id=10153650653710318&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R3%22%7D


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As I stated previously, many parents and SLPs who see your posts and videos don’t differentiate between the “purposes” for the technology. I have seen countless posts in a variety of Facebook groups where SLPs and parents have commented about not pursuing AAC for young children due to needing to “limit screen time”. This misperception is extremely concerning!
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On your Facebook page you encouraged members to “speak up” during BHSM yet when we voiced concerns about our own organization we were redirected to e-mail. The canned reply you get when you take the time to submit your concerns to ASHA formally via the e-mail they provided can be seen in the image at the top of this post and here: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga/photos/a.433610663356611.117461.174264525957894/1138548532862817/?type=3&theater

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Wow. Thanks for dismissing those of us who work in the trenches with kids with complex communication needs and their families everyday. I think I’ll stick with public forums and social media.
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The slogan of BHSM 2016 is “Communication Takes Care“. One of the definitions of “care” is “serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk.”. Kind of ironic since you seem to be taking very little care in how your BHSM campaign is being perceived and the potential damage that it may do.

The solution isn’t difficult. You just need to be more thoughtful, balanced and inclusive in your posts and videos. Please “take care” by doing posts that highlight kids with complex communication needs and innovative ways of using tech to meet those needs for AAC, adapted play or therapeutic uses of an iPad with high quality apps. There are several parent authored blogs that are well respected and have huge followings who I’m sure would be more than glad to share their stories.

Please listen. It’s far past time for the voice of ASHA to speak for kids of ALL needs & abilities.

~ from a concerned ASHA certified SLP & dues paying member for 26 years

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The poll that you mentioned: http://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/BHSM-Member-Poll-Results.pdf

No mention of AAC or appropriate uses of tech in any of these BHSM posts:
* http://www.asha.org/bhsm/ten-tips-blog-post/
* http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7802751-asha-risks-of-tech-overuse-poll/
* http://www.asha.org/uploadedImages/BHSM-Infographic.jpeg

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FYI – For those who may not know, all states in the USA are supposed to have an Assistive Technology Lending Library program where parents & professionals can borrow AAC devices, iPads with AAC apps & other AT for short-term trial. It’s a great way to try various options out before making purchasing decisions. There are lots of great AAC devices and apps. It’s important to do a good feature-match and trial of options. Find the AT Lending Library in your state: http://www.ataporg.org/states.html. Also can look on: http://www.resnaprojects.org/allcontacts/statewidecontacts.html. They may also have helpful info about SLPs in your area who specialize in AAC and any funding resources that may be specific to your state.

This website has good info regarding potential funding sources: http://ectacenter.org/topics/atech/funding.asp

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In case you missed it, OMazing Kids blog post:

https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/05/04/what-were-they-thinking-again-ashas-misguided-assault-on-kids-technology-for-better-hearing-speech-month-2016/
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#CommunicationTakesAACcess #GiveThemAllTheWords #SeeMeSeeMyAAC #SLPblogger #SLPeeps #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}

{What Were They Thinking…. AGAIN!?!} ASHA’s misguided assault on kids & technology for Better Hearing & Speech Month 2016

 

OMazing Kids blog post in response to ASHA BHSM 2016 anti tech campaign

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Dear ASHA, this ASHA certified SLP (dues paying member for 26 years) had prayed that you would have a better campaign in mind for this year’s Better Hearing & Speech Month…. ’cause we are still dealing with the fallout from last year’s fiasco. But unfortunately here we are again in 2016 with a tech shaming focus for BHSM.

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I know you didn’t intend to do harm with last year’s campaign or this year’s but you have. The issue is that your posts and videos don’t include any caveats for appropriate uses of tech such as AAC, adapted play or therapeutic uses of an iPad with high quality apps. They just convey a black and white “tech is bad and needs to be swapped” message. Many parents and SLPs who see your posts and videos don’t differentiate between the “purposes” for the technology. I have seen countless posts in a variety of Facebook groups where SLPs and parents have commented about not pursuing AAC for young children due to needing to “limit screen time”. This is a ridiculous battle. What’s silly is that in the era when all we had was traditional dedicated SGDs nobody ever called that “screen time” yet an iPad with an AAC app locked in Guided Access is a dedicated SGD.

The solution isn’t difficult. You just need to be more thoughtful, balanced and inclusive in your posts and videos. Please consider doing posts that highlight kids with complex communication needs and innovative ways of using tech to meet those needs for AAC, adapted play or therapeutic uses of an iPad with high quality apps.

There are several parent authored blogs that are well respected and have huge followings who I’m sure would be more than glad to share their stories. Please listen. It’s far past time for the voice of ASHA to speak for kids of ALL needs & abilities.

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Interesting post about tech shaming: http://www.sunshineandhurricanes.com/please-stop-saying-technology-is-ruining-childhood/

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Dear OMazing Kids peeps – You can join us in voicing concerns using the #CommunicationTakesAACcess hashtag and by commenting on this post on the ASHA FB page: https://www.facebook.com/asha.org/photos/a.187128960317.137733.26971470317/10153646225275318/?type=3&theater

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You can also followup with an e-mail to bhsm@asha.org. Based on ASHA’s responses to the FB comments so far, we may not be able to do much about the tone of this year’s BHSM but hopefully can prevent a “threepeat” in 2017.

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And feel free to post comments on this video on ASHA’s YouTube channel:

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Update: Well it looks like all of our posts and comments have at least caused The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to mention that their new infographic excludes tech used for AAC. But the issue is that statement is only visible in the text of their FB post so this infographic viewed outside that context can still do great harm. I left a comment asking that they update the infographic itself. Several others have now commented asking that they also remove the stipulation about “severe” communication disorders. Also…. Not sure what they mean by polling their members. I’m a member and I never received info about this poll.

Love this comment posted by Mary-Louise Bertram: https://www.facebook.com/asha.org/posts/10153650304700318?comment_id=10153650653710318&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R3%22%7D

 

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My OMazing Kids FB post in late April: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga/posts/1134222826628721

& my blog post voicing concerns in 2015: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2015/05/16/what-were-they-thinking-ashas-misguided-assault-on-kids-technology-for-better-hearing-speech-month-2015/

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Check out these posts from others who have spoken out. I will be updating this blog post to add more throughout the month:

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Hold My Words: https://www.facebook.com/HoldMyWords/photos/a.841100355997445.1073741829.824970217610459/971098362997643/

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Uncommon Sense Blog: https://www.facebook.com/123130417730793/photos/a.124083530968815.9496.123130417730793/1067490493294776/?type=3&theater and Dana has boldly posted several comments in the post over on ASHA’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/asha.org/photos/a.187128960317.137733.26971470317/10153646225275318/?type=3&comment_id=10153646803975318&comment_tracking={%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22}, https://www.facebook.com/asha.org/photos/a.187128960317.137733.26971470317/10153646225275318/?type=3&comment_id=10153647772650318&reply_comment_id=10153647794580318&comment_tracking={%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22} & https://www.facebook.com/asha.org/photos/a.187128960317.137733.26971470317/10153646225275318/?type=3&comment_id=10153647772650318&reply_comment_id=10153649462875318&comment_tracking={%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22}

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Rachael Langley is a fellow SLP and AAC enthusiast who creates fabulous memes: https://www.facebook.com/RachaelLangleyAAC/photos/a.1593847960833847.1073741828.1593841367501173/1734541580097817/?type=3&theater

 

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Speak for Yourself is the only AAC company that I’ve seen so far speak out against the BHSM 2016 campaign. I love Heidi’s boldness to speak up: https://www.facebook.com/SpeakForYourselfAAC/posts/1019817461386869 (one of several posts) & https://www.facebook.com/asha.org/photos/a.187128960317.137733.26971470317/10153646225275318/?type=3&comment_id=10153647815075318&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D

 

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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}