Posts Tagged ‘Speak For Yourself AAC app’

{Review} Smarty Symbols Image Club

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{Review} Smarty Symbols Image Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.
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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

{Book Review} With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck by David Friend

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{Book Review} With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck by David Friend

Bulldozers and back-hoes, pavers and plows, trailers and tractors–the world is filled with so many types of trucks! Imagine the fun you could have if you could drive them all! And what if you could bring your best friends along with you? Hop along for a thrilling ride! This playful romp is sure to delight truck lovers everywhere!

  • Age Range: 3 – 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books – Penguin Young Readers Group (June 14, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399169563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399169564
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches

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Here’s what I love about this book

  • fun rhyming text in a large easy to read font
  • colorful detailed illustrations fill each 2-page spread. Every time I read this book, I find more fun things hidden in the details
  • full of lots of great vocabulary, descriptive words & actions
  • several opportunities for teaching prepositions (in, out, up, down, under, etc.)
  • includes lots of vehicles….. perfect for my patients who have a high interest in anything with a construction or transportation theme

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I’m excited to have my latest “read-play-talk” activity ready for several patients in OMazing Kids speech therapy tomorrow built around this book! The text is very inviting so kids will be motivated to request “read” as I pause and wait expectantly after each two page spread. I will also be targeting key vocabulary via aided language stimulation in the Speak For Yourself AAC app (go, drive, dig, spread, help, cat, cow, and most of the vehicles: crane, fire truck, fork lift, garbage truck, bulldozer, moving van, tanker, snowplow, tractor, cement mixer, dump truck, excavator/backhoe, combine, wrecking ball, flatbed trailer & semi truck). Then we will play with a toy dump truck and a set of colored balls to fill the back and dump out (more great opportunities for requesting colors & the vocabulary “in”, “out” & “go”). And a couple of the patients will get to play a construction themed app on my other iPad or do a coloring page for a couple of minutes as a reinforcer at the end.

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Available for purchase:

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

Cute & Trendy AAC ~ think like MacGyver

Vera Bradley AAC strap

Thanks to Ability Connection Oklahoma one of my sweet 12 year old patients received an iPad Mini with the Speak for Yourself AAC app in a ChatWrap case by Saltillo Corporation!

Several of my coworkers commented “How cute!” as they saw me assembling it on Friday…. first time I’ve ever heard AAC described as “cute”. Love it! There is no reason why AAC can’t be cute & trendy. The white case with the light purple edge definitely adds a cute feminine look to a white iPad Mini. But the strap that comes with it is black and not dainty enough for this girlie girl.

So I put on my MacGyver thinking cap. Ever since attending a Linda Burkhart workshop back in 1993 I have built quite a stash of items with the intent of someday using them for another purpose. {If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Linda Burkhart workshop sign up as quickly as you can. She’s been doing Assistive Technology & AAC before the internet, cell phones or iPads were invented. She’s a guru of low-tech solutions & the original MacGyver in the special needs world}

After rummaging through my closets & drawers I found everything I needed to make a stylish lightweight shoulder strap worthy of this sweet 12 year old patient’s new AAC device.

I decided to repurpose an old Vera Bradley Pedal Pink belt (circa 2006) into a carrying strap. My mom had used it as a belt then passed it on to me. I used it as a belt but hadn’t worn it in several years. It almost made it into the donation pile a couple of times…. but my MacGyver/Linda Burkhart mindset said “No that would make the perfect strap for a PECS book or AAC device some day”.

I forgot to take a pic of the belt before I started deconstructing it so here’s one I found on e-Bay:

VB belt

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Here’s my kitchen table with all my MacGyver supplies:

 

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It took less than an hour to transform the old belt & parts from an old duffel bag strap into a new carrying strap and cost $0.00 since these were all things I’ve had laying around my house for years.  I don’t own a sewing machine so it’s assembled with heavy duty iron-on stitch witchery fusible tape and then hand sewn. I’m pretty sure this sweet patient will be the only owner of this combo of a white iPad Mini + Speak For Yourself + ChatWrap Case w/ purple “boot” edging + a custom-made Vera Bradley carrying strap 🙂

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If you were a 12 year old girl, which carrying strap would you like? Which one would help your AAC device look cute & fashionable? Which one would promote attachment to the device and confidence in carrying it? The Vera Bradley one of course! Since many AAC devices are abandoned these are important things to consider. Hmmm…. I wonder if developing AAC fashion accessories could be a retirement career?

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FYI…. the  Speak for Yourself  AAC app will be 50% off ($99.99 USD) on October 15th, 2014. It’s likely that other AAC apps may go on sale this month so be watching the OMazing Kids Facebook Page for info.

Happy AAC Awareness Month!

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

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

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

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OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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Review w/ video: ChatWrap Case for iPad Mini

Watch this video for a quick overview of the features, size & weight of the ChatWrap for iPad Mini by Saltillo. If you have any difficulty watching the embedded video, go directly to YouTube by clicking the pic below or using this link: http://youtu.be/Diq8NuFnN6c

Chatwrap youtube video

This case is incredibly lightweight, slim & has awesome amplification quality through the attached Bluetooth speaker!

I’ve been a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist for 24 years and have seen LOTS of AAC devices and cases and this one is quite unique. Definitely worth considering if you are looking for voice amplification to turn your iPad Mini into a speech-generating device while not adding excess bulk or weight.

  • case weight = .7 lb
  • total weight with iPad Mini in it = 1.4 lbs
  • thickness at the tallest portion is only about 1.5 inch (about 2/3 the height of a dollar bill)
  • an extra kickstand is available (3.5 inches tall, holds device at 45 degree angle)
  • extra colored “boots” are available to personalize the case
  • the volume can get very loud. At full volume, the ChatWrap attached Bluetooth speaker gets as loud as 95dB. This is based on a trial with the phrase “AAC should be cute” with the following three options set at the maximum volume in the same office environment and measured with the Decibel 10th app at 2 feet away: iPad Mini speaker (72dB), ion Clipster (85dB), ChatWrap for iPad Mini (95db). [This test was inspired by this post on the Uncommon Sense blog: http://niederfamily.blogspot.com/2014/09/comparison-of-volume-intensity-in-ipad.html%5D

See more details & ordering info online at www.chatwrap.com.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this review and do not have any affiliation with any AAC company or app developer. Please consult with your child’s SLP or AAC team when deciding on the best case for their needs. I am providing this overview solely as a means to get more details out there for folks to make informed purchasing decisions.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

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

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

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OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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