Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Articulation Hunt {app review}

I have a brand new app for you to check out from Home Speech Home called Articulation Hunt!  For those of you that do a pirate theme in your speech room, this app is perfect for you!   This is a fun app to add into your rotation of apps for your articulation students.

Check out this video preview of the app:

You can use this app individually or in a group setting, which is perfect for group therapy and school SLPs! 

While setting up the game, you can choose the target sound for each child, the position of the sound, and the speed of the game.  I usually choose slow, because I think those are fast the way they are.  However, if your students/clients are up for a challenge, feel free to up the speed.

On each person's turn, the app pops up a picture and shows a number of stars for the number of times the child is to say the word.  The stars are filled in via voice activation.  It is not always super sensitive or is overly sensitive, which can be frustrating to my clients.  You can turn this off, though, so just monitor it in your sessions and see if you like it.

Once all of those stars are lit up, the game appears.  The bubbles appear at the speed you chose earlier (slow, medium, fast).  The students are working towards 50 jewels total.  The object is to pop the bubbles of the word that the student just practiced.  Every time they pop the correct picture, they receive a jewel.  If they pop the wrong word, there is a consequence, and they begin to lose jewels.

Once the child has received the 50 jewels, the game changes to a new land.  There are nine lands in the game: sunken treasure, candy land, enchanted forest, pirate cove, beanstalk heaven, scorching desert, crystal beach, creepy forest, and magical sea.  My clients have enjoyed seeing what land is next.

Once you are done playing for the day, exit the game and save the data!  This is a great way to monitor progress over various sessions as well.

You can change the settings to further customize the game.

Overall, this app is a fantastic way to keep students engaged in articulation drill.  It is an easy way to get I have used this app with clients of all ages, from 4 year olds to my 18 year olds.  All of them have enjoyed playing it and exploring the different lands.  They have all asked to play it again.  It is definitely an articulation app that I will add to my regular rotation!

If you are interested in purchasing this app, it is available on the app store for $5.99 at the time of this review:

Enjoy this fun, new app!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Inference Pics {app review}

Note: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.  

Inference Pics is a brand new app from Aptus Speech and Language Therapy.  It is designed to target inferencing skills, a very important life skill.  Many of my clients have goals for inferencing, so this app is great for my caseload.  Check it out below.

Here is the description from the app developer:
"Inference Pics is designed to elicit verbal expression and target the ability to make inferences. It uses real-life pictures depicting events, conversations, thoughts, feelings, jobs, places and seasons. Inference Pics will get people talking, help them to foster key social skills and master the ability to make social inferences."

There are seven (7) different activities to do in this app:
-What Has Happened?
In this activity, clients will look at a picture, describe what happened, and tell how they know.

In this activity, clients will look at the picture and determine that person's job.

In this activity,  clients will look at the picture and determine where a person is.

In this activity, clients will look at the picture and determine what time of year it is.

In this activity, clients will look at the picture and determine how a person is feeling.

In this activity, clients will look at the picture and determine what each person is saying.

In this activity, clients will look at a picture and determine what each person is thinking.

What I love about this app:
-There are a variety of activities to practice inferencing skills.
-You can target WH questions, pragmatics, turn-taking, and more with this app.
-It takes data for you.
-It uses real-life photos.
-You can use as a guest or as a saved user.
-It allows for scaffolding--clients can answer with or without answer choices.
-It is super easy to use.

What I would love to see in an update:
-This is me being extremely picky, but I would love it if the app used a non-synthesized/digital voice.  My clients generally respond better to a human voice.

*Note: this app was produced in the United Kingdom.  Some of the vocabulary used is not the same that I use in the United States.  This is not a problem.  Rather, it is just something to be aware of when using this

In summary, Inference Pics is an easy-to-use app to practice inference skills along with WH questions, pragmatic language, turn-taking, and vocabulary skills. It uses real life photos, not cartoons, with help with carryover skills.  The app takes data, which saves time for busy SLPs, and it has built in scaffolding and answer choices.

If you're interested in this app, you can purchase it on the App Store for $11.99 at the time of this review.

Note: A copy of this app was provided for my review.  No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Best Books for Childhood Apraxia of Speech

I absolutely love using books in therapy.  I use them for my language clients all the time.  Recently, I've begun exploring using them more with my articulation clients and my clients with CAS.  

I'm not really sure why I never thought about it before, but books are a great resource for CAS because they can be so repetitive and offer a lot of practice on given words.  There is also quite a bit of research behind using books in therapy:

-children's books are highly predicable (Luckner, 1990)
-books foster speech and language development (Chamberlain & Strode, 2004)
-books allow children to fill-in the blanks without imitation, which can be challenging for children with CAS (Forrest, 2003)
-repetitive books foster development of phonemic awareness and other pre-reading skills (Lovelace & Stewart, 2007)

Here's what we know about CAS, repetition, and literacy:

-children with CAS have decreased intelligibility, especially as the utterance gets longer (Forrest, 2003)
-the more the child practices, the more automatic it becomes (Fletcher, 1995)
-children with CAS have error inconsistency (Jacks, Marquardt, & Davis, 2006)
-children with CAS are at risk for later language and literacy disorders (Lewis, Freebairn, Hansen, Iyengar, & Taylor, 2004)

Back in January, I wrote a post about my top 10 recommendations for repetitive books to use in speech and language therapy.  You can check out the post here. 

Today, I want to add to that list/specify which ones are great for CAS.  In no particular order, here are some of the best repetitive books to use with children with CAS:
1. The Napping House
2. Brown Bear Brown Bear
3. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
4. Jump Frog Jump
5. Mr. Brown Can Moo
6. Moo Baa LaLaLa
7. Wocket In My Pocket
8. The Big Book of Exclamations
9. Red Hat, Yellow Hat
10. Goodnight Moon
11. Dear Zoo
12. Have You Seen My Cat?
13. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
14. I Don't Care! Said the Bear
15. Is Your Mama a Llama?

What would you add to this list? 

References from above to check out:
Chamberlain, C. & Strode, R. (2004). Making It Fun: Practicing Speech at Home. First Apraxia- KIDS Parent Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Fletcher, S.G. (1995). Articulation: A Physiological Approach. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group.

Forrest, K. (2003) Diagnostic criteria of developmental apraxia of speech used by clinical speech language pathologists. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology / American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 12 (3), 376-80.

Jacks, A., Marquardt, T.P., Davis, B.L. (2006) Consonant and syllable structure patterns in childhood apraxia of speech: developmental change in three children. Journal of Communication Disorders, 39, 424-41.

Lewis, B.A., Freebairn, L.A., Hansen, A.J., Iyengar, S.K., & Taylor, H.G. (2004) School-age follow-up of children with childhood apraxia of speech. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 35, 122-40.

Lovelace, S. & Stewart, S.R. (2007) Increasing print awareness in preschoolers with language impairment using non-evocative print referencing. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 38 (1), 16-30.

Luckner, J., “Predictable Books: Captivating Young Readers.” In Perspectives in Education and Deafness, October/November, 1990.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dr. Beaker {product review}

Blue Orange Games always comes out with such fun and engaging games!  Last summer, I wrote about Dr. Eureka and Fast Flip (see post here).  This summer, my clients have been enjoying their newest game called Dr. Beaker.

Here is the description of the game from Blue Orange Games:
"Stir up excitement in Dr. Beaker's Laboratory! Flip a challenge card and race your opponents to match the formula. Using logic and your stirring rod, move the molecules into the right spots. Think ahead - the special rotating platform at the bottom of your beaker only allows the molecules to move one-by-one. Unique game pieces add to the fun in this brainteasing logic race!"
Here's a video explaining how to play:

The game comes with four beakers, four stir sticks, colored balls, and cards.  To play, give each person a beaker, stir stick, and two balls of each color.

In Speech and Language Therapy:
For language goals, I modified the instructions slightly.  Instead of racing against each other, we have been describing the card to another client.  This way, it targets following directions, sequencing, and using descriptive language.

For articulation and other goals, I use it as a reinforcer.  After everyone says their words a given number of times, we can play a round.

This is also a great game for problem solving, as the kids have to think about the order in which to move the balls around to create a matching arrangement to the card.

Other uses:
Our occupational therapists have been using it for visual perception and processing speed.

What my clients have been saying:
-"It is fun!  It took me awhile to get used to how to turn the beaker and move the balls, but once I got used to it, it was easy."
-"It was fun, but I think I like Dr. Eureka better. Dr. Eureka was definitely easier. But this one is fun."
-"I enjoyed racing against each other."
-"I like the science theme."

Bottom Line:
Dr. Beaker is a fun game for my clients to play in my speech room.  It is a great game for language goals or to use as a reinforcer.  They have been asking to play it over and over again this summer and beginning of the school year.   My OT co-workers also reach for it over and over again.

If you are interested in purchasing Dr. Beaker, you can check out Blue Orange Games and order from their website.

Note: A copy of this game was provided for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Resources for Typical Play Development

I work with a lot of kids under the age of 5 years.  I recently have had an influx of "late talkers" and children who are not interacting or playing as you might expect.  I've compiled a list of resources that I use as the professional and that I also give to my clients' parents.

Carol Westby created a play scale of 10 stages that goes up to age 5.  You can download it for free here: 

Teach Me to Play WITH You Manuel from Teach Me To Talk- $48 here

How Play Differs Among Toddlers with Typical Developing Skills, Language Delay, and Autism podcast from Teach Me to Talk

Early Language Development Handout from Super Duper-free download

Types/Stages of Play charts from Communication Station Speech Therapy--free download

Best Toys for Language Development blog post from my friend Katie at Play With Words 365

Language For the Playground--a website focusing on play skills.  This particular article focuses on the playground and 3 stages of social competence. 

Learn to Play--a website full of resources for therapists and parents

Zero to Three: four resources that describe the development of play from birth to three years

Social Thinking We Thinkers! Building Blocks Poster- $9.00 on their website

1 2 3 Just Play With Me- Play-Based Developmental Card Set- $42 on Amazon

Blog post from Medbridge regarding choosing appropriate toys

Preschool SLP Evaluation Forms from my friend Jenna at Speech Room News

Early Intervention Parent Handouts: Play from Language Launchers 

What are your favorite resources for typical play development? 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Top School Supplies List for New SLPs

I remember as a new SLP,  I was completely overwhelmed and unsure of what exactly I needed.  This included everything from specific speech and language materials to "simple" school supplies.  They provide students a list of what school supplies they will need, so why didn't they supply me one? Well today, I'm going to provide that school supply list for you!  These are in no particular order. 

1.  Pens--find a pen that you like.  Some prefer roller ball, ink, or flair pens.  Find what you like the best and buy a lot. 

2. Paper clips--you will be sending a lot of papers to teachers and parents.  

3. Binder clips--this will help keep stacks and stacks of paper together. 

4. A good stapler--find one that will staple 40+ pages together.  You will NOT regret this. 

5. Envelopes--I send IEPs and other notes home in envelopes for privacy purposes. These are a must. 

6. Velcro--Do I need to explain?  You will use this for so many materials! 

7. Laminator and laminating pouches--Again, need I explain? It will make your materials last longer and the quality will likely be higher than the school-provided laminator. 

8. Glue--great for craftivities. 

9. Binder rings--these are great for putting together interactive books and other packets that you want to flip through easily. 

10. Scissors--I cut out a lot of materials from Teachers Pay Teachers.  Invest in a good pair for yourself and maybe some smaller ones for your students. 

11. Paper slicer--This saved me so much time instead of having to cut everything out with scissors.  

12. Pencils--Great for when you're working on worksheets or other writing activities. Chances are, the kids will not bring one with them. 

13. Construction paper--great for craftivities or just mixing it up instead of using plain white paper. 

14. Folders--I used one for every kid on my caseload. I kept their data sheets, attendance record, and any project or worksheets in there.  

15. Sheet protectors--You can use these to save papers in a binder or to write on worksheets with dry erase markers.

16. Dry erase markers--You can use these with sheet protectors or clear envelopes.  Others claim you can use them on your iPad! 

17. Sticky tack--If you have concrete walls, this may be your only way to hang things on the wall. 

18. Hot glue--Again, if you have concrete walls, this may be your only way to hang things up.  I used it for crafts as well. 

19. Individual white boards--I use these for drills and students keeping their own data throughout sessions. 

20. A fun tape dispenser--I bought one that was a flower.  Just adds a little decor to your room without being over the top. 

Now take this list to the store and happy shopping!! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Articulate It Pro {app review}

Do your speech only kids get bored easily? Mine definitely do!  I'm constantly looking for ways to change up therapy and keep them engaged.  I have a series of apps that I rotate through (on top of the normal drill and drill play activities), but I'm always looking to add more.   I was recently introduced to Articulate It Pro from Smarty Ears, and I have to tell you it will be added to that rotation.

Check out this video overview of the app:

To begin, select your players and then select the activity.  There are four activity choices: FlashCards, Matching, Stories, and Guess What.

You can also select your targets for each child: phonemes, phonological processes, manner of articulation, and number of syllables.

Everyone phoneme is listed as a choice to target:

You can also preview the wordlist and deselect words that you would rather not target.

One of my clients' favorites is the matching game.  They always ask to play it!

As with most Smarty Ears apps, Articulate It Pro collects data for you.  It is specific by phoneme, position, and process.  It gives you data for correct productions, approximate productions, and incorrect productions.

Another feature I really like is the certificate option.  When a child masters a sound or a sound in a given position, you can print off a certificate for them.  My clients love this because it affirms them and makes them feel proud!

Articulate It Pro is a great app for busy SLPs.  It makes planning and implementing articulation therapy so easy.  The multi-player function makes it perfect for group sessions while still targeting each child's individual goals.   I really like that I can choose between phonemes, phonological processes, manner of articulation, and number of syllables when setting up the targets for my clients.  The games are engaging, and my clients keep coming back for more. 

If you're visual like me, you can check out the video tutorial below:

If you are interested in this app, it is currently listed at $42.99, and you can purchase it in the App Store using my affiliate link:

If you didn't know, there is a Smarty Ears App party happening right now on Facebook!  Join in on the fun and enter to win some FREE apps!



Note: I received a copy of this app in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 
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