Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Verbally

App Name/Publisher: Verbally by Intuary, Inc.

Description: Verablly is an app for assisted speech production. Verbally is a communication aid for people with apraxia, ALS, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, or Muscular Dystrophy.

Therapy Use: For expressive language output; conversation. Tap in a word or phrase and press ‘Speak’ for the whole phrase, or ‘Speak each word’ for one word at a time.

App Benefits/Likes:
• Easy to use, simple layout, free
• Core Word Grid offers over 60 essential words, which can save you over 50% of the taps required to input your sentences
• Core Phrases Grid offers a dozen common phrases to enable faster and easier conversation
• Text Prediction that learns the words and names you use and makes entering your thoughts significantly faster than typing
• Three keyboard layout so that you can find the one that’s best for you
• Choice of male or females voices

Cautions: For older children, adults (Text to speech keyboard only - no pictures)

App Summary

Skill(s) Targeted
AAC
Aphasia
Expressive Language
Literacy
Social Skills/Pragmatics

Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Early Elementary (Grades 1 – 3)
Upper Elementary (Grades 3- 6)
Middle School/Junior High (Grades 7-9)
High School (Grades 10 – 12)
Adult

How to Activate
Isolated finger point
Touch and release

Type of Device
iOS Device 3.2 or later
iPad

Cost
Free

Would you recommend this app?
Yes

Hyperlink
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/verbally/id418671377?mt=8

Reviewed by
Megan Bratti, MS, CCC-SLP

Review Date
April 19, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Look2Learn


This app was originally reviewed on www.SpeechGadget.com.

App Name/Publisher:
Look2Learn by MDR.

Description:
Look2Learn is a basic dynamic display AAC app that targets requesting, using “I want + Noun” sentence structure.













Therapy Use:
• Assessment of ability to use a basic dynamic display AAC device.
• Practice isolated finger pointing.
• Choice making.
• Requesting.
• N+V+O sentence structures.
• Categorization.
• Identification of common nouns and emotions.
• Imitation of carrier phrase “I want”
• Imitation of 3 word phrases.

App Benefits/Likes:
Look2Learn is relatively inexpensive for an AAC app. It includes 80 pre-loaded color photographs in 6 categories. The user has the option to upload additional photographs and to hide photos. Users can select from 3 photos sizes. There are multiple voice output options.

Cautions:
The user is limited to 3 word phrases. The “Select an Image” button is located at the bottom of the screen. If the user tends to rake across the screen, does not have a strong isolated finger point, or tends to bend their wrist when pointing, they will most likely accidently activate the “Image button.” A simple solution would be to place the button at the top of the page, however, that is not currently a customization option.

App Summary

Skill(s) Targeted
AAC
Aphasia
Articulation & Phonology
Expressive & Receptive Language
Social Skills/Pragmatics

Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Toddler
Preschool
Kindergarten
Early Elementary (Grades 1 – 3)
Upper Elementary (Grades 3- 6)

How to Activate
Isolated finger point
Touch and release

Type of Device
iOS Device
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
iOS 3.0 or later

Cost
$14.99

Would you recommend this app?
Yes

Hyperlink
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/look2learn-aac/id319600029?mt=8

Reviewed by
Deb Taylor Tomarakos

Review Date
4/19/2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Helicopter Taxi

This review also appears on SpeechTechie.


App Name/Publisher: Helicopter Taxi/Toca Boca

Description: Helicopter Taxi and Toca Boca's other apps are based on research about different kinds of play and how to engage kids in play via technology.  Helicopter Taxi itself is a very unique app that turns your device (iOS later-generation device such as iPhone 3GS or later, iPad 2- with cameras) into a toy.  You sort of have to see it to believe it:



Helicopter Taxi is therefore an active play app in which children can respond to requests from characters who need a "lift" from place to place.  It uses the device's motion sensors to some degree to respond to being put on a flat surface corresponding to take-off, flying, and landing, and its cameras to provide an "augmented reality" experience with the environment. It's great fun and a very innovative use of (newer only, sorry) these devices.

Therapy Use:  Helicopter Taxi provides many opportunities for language modeling, elicitation, and scaffolding-
Vocabulary and Verb Development- From simple verbs to more advanced such as hover, they are yours for the selection.
Concepts and Prepositions- In moving the helicopter, clinicians can focus on spatial words such as up, down, over, and other basic concepts such as sequencing words, fast, slow, through (the clouds) etc, all with visual and kinesthetic support.
Categories and Curriculum- Helicopter Taxi has 5 different locations (e.g. hospital, factory) that are drop-off points for passengers, and could be a good complement to a community helpers unit.
Pragmatics- The app would lend itself to being used to build turn-taking, eye contact and joint attention, as the child's attention need not always be on the screen at all!
Play and Literacy Extensions- Helicopter Taxi could be followed by low-tech play such as using a Little People Town (that has a helicopter) or books about transportation.

App Benefits/Likes: Takes incredible advantage of device possibilities, child need not be tied to screen, all of the above.

Cautions: 5 locations may get monotonous eventually (maybe expanded in future update?), newer device needed to use app, exaggerated motions sometimes required to get the app to respond to pickup, "landing," etc.  You will need a good case on your device if allowing children to "actively play" with it.

App Summary

Skill(s) Targeted
Articulation & Phonology
Expressive & Receptive Language
Social Skills/Pragmatics

Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Toddler
Preschool
Kindergarten
Early Elementary (Grades 1 – 3)

How to Activate
Isolated finger point
Movement of device

Type of Device
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad 2

Cost
$.99 US

Would you recommend this app?
Yes

Hyperlink

Reviewed by
Sean Sweeney

Review Date
April 25, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More Grillin'


App Name/Publisher: More Grillin’ by Maverick Software LLC

Description: This app allows the user to grill various foods and arrange them on a plate with sides and desserts. The meats, veggies, and treats are very realistic. The user must flip the food on the grill and prepare the food with toppings, sauces, and breads. Once the food is prepared, the user can eat the food by touching the screen with his or her finger.

Therapy Use: My elementary school-age students absolutely love this app. It’s a great way to get them excited in speech/language therapy. This app would also be functional for older students with cognitive disabilities. I have used More Grillin’ for summer- or food-themed therapy sessions. The task of grilling gets students excited for warm weather activities (e.g., picnics, BBQs), so it is a great motivator. Uses in therapy include: categorizing, practicing functional skills, sequencing, retelling events, and following complex auditory/written directions. This game can also be a reward game for articulation or language activities.

App Benefits/Likes: Very realistic, motivating, and entertaining.

Cautions: The undo button can only undo one error, so the therapist must monitor the user to prevent unwanted mistakes. Also, you may not go back to a previous screen once you move on to the next step.

App Summary

Skill(s) Targeted
Articulation & Phonology
Expressive & Receptive Language
Social Skills/Pragmatics

Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Kindergarten
Early Elementary (Grades 1 – 3)
Upper Elementary (Grades 3- 6)
Middle School/Junior High (Grades 7-9)
High School (Grades 10 – 12)

How to Activate
Touch and release
Hold and drag

Cost
$0.99

Type of Device
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Would you recommend this app?
Yes

Hyperlink
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/more-grillin/id359113435?mt=8

Reviewed by
Amanda Roecker

Review Date
April 18, 2011

Reeder

This app was originally reviewed on SpeechTechie in "Portable PD, Part Two"

App Name/Publisher: Reeder/Silvio Rizzi

Description: Are you just getting into blogs such as ours here at TherapyApp411?  You don't need to be tied to your computer in order to read blogs. It's a really good idea to use Google Reader, an "aggregator" that allows you to read all your blogs in one place- you don't have to remember to navigate to them all and will only see the ones who have new posts. My favorite way to view Reader is actually at reader.google.com, but if I am on the train or reclining somewhere, I do like Reeder for both iPhone and iPad.  Reeder lets you review everything that has been posted recently in a particular blog and syncs the items you read back to Google Reader, so that when you return to the web interface you will know what you looked at!  Additionally, you can star items that you know you want to bookmark or think about in more depth later. Reeder sets you back a few bucks ($2.99/$4.99 for iPhone and iPad, respectively, and it's worth getting both if you have both) but is definitely a good item to have on your iDevice. Consider adding The SLP Blogs Bundle to your Google Reader account so that Reeder will give you access to a whole bunch of great SLP bloggers.

I love the way Reeder's interface lets you tap, scroll, and pull to move to the next post

Therapy Use: Reeder gives you easy access to many blogs that will give you ideas about your therapy and practice. Additionally, Reeder can give students access to "readable" distraction-free text if you add news sources and other blogs of use to students to teach research skills, current events, or any type of speech practice at the lengthy discourse level.

App Benefits/Likes: Clean, easy to use interface, good syncing with your Reader account.

Cautions: Perhaps a little pricey, different versions need to be purchased depending on device.

App Summary

Skill(s) Targeted
Literacy
S-LP Tools/Organization

Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Middle School/Junior High (Grades 7-9)
High School (Grades 10 – 12)
Adult

How to Activate
Swipe
Touch and release
Hold and drag

Type of Device
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (different versions

Cost
$2.99 iPhone/iPod $4.99 iPad

Would you recommend this app?
Yes

Hyperlink
http://reederapp.com/

Reviewed by
Sean Sweeney

Review Date
April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Present for Milo




App Name/Publisher:
A Present for Milo by Ruckus Media Group

Description:
A Present for Milo is a storybook app for iOS devices (ipod, ipad, etc..). It's a story about a cat named Milo who goes on a birthday mouse chase throughout the house.

Speech-Language Therapy Use:
This app has been a hit in therapy! Especially for my clients with Autism. It draws them in and creates a number of opportunities for both receptive and expressive language. Activities can ranging from labeling, requesting, following directions, and reading. I use this app mainly for the nice illustrations of prepositions. The prepositions used are: Under, Across, Up, Down, Through, and Around. I also make an obstacle course in my therapy room that follows the course of the story and have my clients act out each scene.

App Benefits/Likes:
This app has more than 80 tap-interactive objects that initiate more than 125 animations just right for active young fingers and minds.

Cautions:
Child could potentially have too much control of app. The child may not want to wait for instructions and interact with the page as they please.

App Summary

Skill(s) Targeted
Expressive & Receptive Language
Literacy
Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Toddler
Preschool
Kindergarten
Early Elementary (Grades 1 – 3)
How to Activate
Isolated finger point
Swipe
Type of Device
iOS Device
Cost
$3.99
Would you recommend this app?
Yes
Hyperlink
Reviewed by
Jeremy Legaspi
Review Date
April 9, 2011


Sunday, April 17, 2011

ClickySticky




App Name/Publisher:
ClickySticky iPad App by Invocore, LLC,
Also available are ClickSticky Easter, and ClickySticky Christmas

Description:
ClickySticky is a virtual sticker book. Users select a sticker scene and then touch and drag stickers into the scene. Available scenes include dress-up, under the sea, airport, space alien, wild animal, and dinosaur scenes. Stickers can be removed from the scene by dragging the sticker back to the top tool bar of stickers. Stickers can also be removed by a double tap, or all stickers can be removed by shaking the iPad.

Therapy Use:
• Receptive identification of vocabulary or expressive labeling of vocabulary, including the following: dolls/clothing, safari animals, sea creatures, airplanes, dinosaurs.
• Following one-step to multi-step directions.
• Location and spatial concepts such as: right/left, up/down, over/under, above/below, between, beside/next to.
• Sequence/order: first, next, last, finally.
• Turn taking.
• Isolated finger pointing, and point and drag.
• What and where questions.
• Positive reinforcement activity.

App Benefits/Likes:
• Colorful, engaging, imaginative.
• Newly added scenes are free to download if you previously purchased the app.

Cautions:
• Touch, hold and drag may be difficult for young users or users with fine motor difficulties.
• App is iPad only.

Skill(s) Targeted
Expressive and Receptive Language
Literacy
Social Skills/Pragmatics
Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Preschool
Kindergarten
Early Elementary
How to Activate
Hold and drag
Type of Device
iPad only
Cost
$0.99
Would you recommend this app?
Yes
Hyperlink
Reviewed by
Deb Tomarakos
Review Date
April 17, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garageband for iPad

App Name/Publisher: Garageband for iPad/Apple

Description: Garageband’s app allows you to explore musical instruments, make recordings of digital instruments and voice, and combine your recordings and prerecorded loops into songs. Songs can be saved to the iPad, sent to iTunes or via email.

Therapy Use: The app allows students to have hands-on, multisensory experience with musical instruments, a key language category. Language concepts can be emphasized as instruments are explored, as well as comparison between different types of instruments within each category (e.g. rock vs. classic drums). Students will be motivated to follow directions in order to create songs (perhaps related to topics such as feelings, literary mood, personal stories etc., for older students)






If you'd like to know (a whole lot) more about Garageband, here is a link to a great guide from Make Use Of.

App Benefits/Likes: Applicability to specific categories, visual interface, variety

Cautions: Learning Curve, Loops are not so easy to access.


App Summary
Skill(s) Targeted
AAC
Aphasia
Expressive & Receptive Language
Literacy
Social Skills/Pragmatics
S-LP Tools/Organization
Voice
Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Toddler
Preschool
Kindergarten
Early Elementary (Grades 1 – 3)
Upper Elementary (Grades 3- 6)
Middle School/Junior High (Grades 7-9)
High School (Grades 10 – 12)
Adult
How to Activate
Isolated finger point
Swipe
Touch and release
Hold and drag
Type of Device
iPad only
Cost
$4.99
Would you recommend this app?
Yes
Hyperlink
Reviewed by
Sean J. Sweeney
Review Date
4/12/11

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Welcome to TherapyApp411!

This blog is a spinoff of sorts, a collaboration between four #slpeeps on Twitter, springing from the goal of developing a centralized location for information on mobile devices and their uses in therapy. Our mission is to provide reviews and other content regarding apps and devices from a therapists' perspective- SLPs, OTs, PTs or other disciplines who would like to contribute. We will be cross-posting content from our own blogs, The Speech Guy, TiPS: Technology in Practice for SLPs, Speech Gadget, and SpeechTechie as well as opening this blog to contributions from other writer-therapists! We are looking for contributions that reflect your personal experience with apps and place them in the context of therapy sessions. We will be posting a template for posting so that uniform information will be contained in each post, but also allow for individual writing style.

Thanks for checking out our blog!