Thursday, September 8, 2011

Comprehension TherAppy




App Name/Publisher:  Comprehension TherAppy by Tactus Therapy Solutions

Description:  Auditory and reading comprehension for single words (nouns, verbs, and adjectives) for adults with aphasia

Therapy Use:  Although there are a growing number of apps available for AAC-related use with adults, this is the first app I have used that is targeted specifically for adults with aphasia (though as the developers point out, it could also be used for those with alexia). Even if I didn’t think it was a great app, I would probably be using it simply for the fact that there is nothing else like it available. Luckily, it is a great app.

Comprehension TherAppy works on both auditory and reading comprehension of single words. This can be done through the “Listen” mode, “Read” mode, or a combination of listening and reading. Stimuli include images (high-quality photographs), written words and spoken words. Settings can be adjusted to control the difficulty, the field size of stimuli, and the number of trials.

Although I love to use technology whenever I can during therapy sessions, I also like the idea of using technology as an extension to one-on-one sessions. Comprehension TherAppy is easy-to-use, and has the perfect balance of automation and the ability to customize. This allows you to have your patient/client use it on his or her own and not worry about it being too challenging (or not challenging enough). I used it recently with an 81 year-old patient with multiple communication impairments who has never used a computer, and within moments she was independently practicing while her family and I discussed discharge plans. Despite this being a comprehension-focused tool, the patient produced more spontaneous language while using the app than she usually did during therapy tasks. I am certain this was a direct result of the engagement, interest, and sense of empowerment she felt from being able to use Comprehension TherAppy to control her own therapy.     

App Benefits/Likes: 
  •  clean, bright, simple and intuitive interface
  • adult-focused content and tasks (no more having to apologize for using child-like images or program
  • careful selection of content and imagery (as has been documented in other reviews of the app online - see the discussions on foils and vocabulary choices at http://ispeakapp.com/2011/06/24/comprehension-therappy/
  •  large selection of content and ability to extend use with add-on vocabulary packages (all within one app as opposed to many child-targeted vocabulary apps where one has to download separate apps for each category of vocabulary)
  •  ability to adjust difficulty level (and the fact that the app automatically and appropriately adjusts based on client performance)
  •   ability to email session data for report-writing (technology should be saving us time, shouldn’t it?)

Cautions:  Rather than cautions, the following are a few points regarding added flexibility I would love to see in future apps/versions of Comprehension TherAppy:
  • ability to customize/exclude certain words
  • a list of errors to analyze areas of difficulty
  • reporting of response times

App Summary

Skill(s) Targeted
Aphasia
Receptive Language
Reading
Attention

Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Adult

How to Activate
Isolated finger point

Type of Device
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Cost
$24.99 + $3.99 for add-ons (verbs and adjectives)

Would you recommend this app?
Yes. Wholeheartedly. I’m looking forward to future apps from Tactus Therapy.

Hyperlink

Reviewed by
Kevin Frew, M.Sc., RSLP(C)

Review Date
August 28, 2011

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