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Speech Therapy Apps

http://www.virtualspeechcenter.com/MobileApps.aspx

I can't recommend any of these apps personally because of cost but it seems like a good list of apps targeting speech language therapy.

I wonder if anyone else can verify apps that they use to specifically support learners with speech language therapy needs.

Comments

  • Jane

    Thank you Allanah for this site - as an SLT (and primary teacher) it was really interesting to have a look through them. Apps like these are great as a part of a therapy programme. These apps are specifically for SLTs rather than for use by teachers in the classroom. Personally I am very careful as to what I recommend to parents and teachers to help their children, as speech and language difficulties often require very specific interventions with goals targeted to very specific small steps.  Even correcting a ‘wrong’ /s/ for example could require many months of therapy that focuses on a sequence of re-learning for the child.  Intervening with the wrong thing could potentially ‘undo’ this or make it harder for the child to achieve their goals.

    Another thing to consider is where these apps are created - is the vocabulary is appropriate for the New Zealand context (tap v fawcett for example)?  Remember too that the accent is often American in these apps so we have to be careful in other parts of the word to get the articulation models correct.

    I would recommend talking with the SLT working with the child before adding anything to their programme, whether it is an app or any other idea.  Most therapists will work alongside the classroom teacher, family, and the child themselves .... and those at school will have a clear idea of what to do to support the desired changes.  They will usually be happy to help with ideas for classroom reinforcements if you ask!

    Cheers, Jane.

  • Allanah King

    Yes it is a pity you can't try the apps before you buy as some of them have the potential to really help with Speech Language Therapy- with an iPad's ability to repeat and repeat and repeat in an often engaging way without wanting to move on as an adult working with a child might want to do at a time that suits the adult.

    I would hope that with many of them you could record your own voice as a model with a kiwi accent.

    I guess we won't be able to find out unless someone who has used SLT apps can recommend or we can contact the developer directly and request a preview. I have done this a couple of times and some a responsive to sharing a redemption code. Somethime there are previews on You Tube as well.

    We are working with an app developer at the moment to add kiwi audio to an essentially American app. Exciting times.

  • Jane

    The app sounds interesting – what is it targeting?

     

    One app I use quite a lot in speech-language therapy is “Singing fingers” – it’s one where the child (or the adult) move their finger across the screen as they say a sound and then it plays it back to them. Although it is fun and motivating, the most important aspect is still the adult providing feedback. Another bonus is that it was free when I downloaded it. Another that I sometimes use is “earobics” which helps reinforce phonological awareness / literacy but this is expensive and American.

     

    Speech and Language are socially constructed and if I do recommend an app (or good old fashioned board or card game even) I always insist that there is another person there to have the conversation about what is happening (both positive i.e. what the child did correctly and feedback on how the child can improve). There are few apps that are able to provide this.

     

    Remember that children can only sometimes ‘hear’ that they are not doing things correctly and will require an ‘expert’ – adult or peer – to work alongside them and support their learning.

     

    Another couple of things to think about:

    What is the research behind the app? There are lots of apps that say they “improve X or Y” but do they? There is considerable debate about some diagnosis labels e.g. Auditory Processing – is it a language disorder or an attention disorder?

    How is the knowledge or skill then transferred into the child’s functional environment? If a child masters a skill in one situation it is not guaranteed that they are able to use it in another.

     

    Jane