Monday, March 16, 2015

New and Notables: Speech and Language Therapy Apps

Junganew: A Herd of Sounds "S" by Junganew, LLC

Junganew: A Herd of Sounds "S" is a speech therapy app that introduces the /s/ and /z/ sound while also touching on oral motor, auditory comprehension and language skills.  For young children just getting acquainted with the /s/ and /z/, lovable characters help explain the sounds in an easy to understand way by referring to the /s/ sound as "Ms. Snake's sound'', sssss.  The z sound is taught as an s but with the throat making a buzz (Yes, the character is a bee!)  There are opportunities to hear and/or practice the sounds in isolation and in initial, medial and final positions.  S blends are also introduced. There are several fun activities and even a video recording feature using your built in iPad camera- the child can take turns with the characters practicing their sounds, to play back and watch as a video.  For kids that need the extra practice, this "Mirror Models" area can be accessed separately.  An extra bonus-  a "What Am I"? style guessing game where kids guess the s word being described and a "What's Missing?"game where the child is invited to search for a missing prop to compliment the persona shown on the screen.  There is also a balloon popping rhyming game , a cupcake decorating game, an /s/ vs. /sh/ auditory discrimination game, and our personal favorite, the S blend cookie maker where kids can combine the s sound with a second sound (sk, sp, sw, sn, sm) to create a cookie to munch on- all of course focusing on the s sound.

Counting Songs 1 and Counting Songs 2 by Inclusive Technology Ltd ($26.99 for the Counting Song app sets (10 songs each) or $2.99 each song app)

For students with complex needs, these sets of simple animated counting song apps with printable lyrics  offered by Inclusive Technology Ltd. are engaging, switch-accessible, and have a consistent pattern- perfect for those learning cause and effect, those working on beginning counting (count from 1 to 5 or in a select few songs count down from 5 to 1), or those working on switch activation skills. There are different play options as well-you can choose to have the song play through, one verse at a time, or have counting occur before each verse, or the child can count the number before each verse.  Counting activities for each song can be set to count to 5, or to count to only 3.

There are also adjustable switch/ scan settings as well.  If you are working in a school setting and want access to a variety of songs, Counting Songs 1 and Counting Songs 2 bundle up all of their counting song apps available into two sets, with 10 songs included in each set.  You can also purchase the individual song apps for $2.99 each but from what I gather of the two single song apps I own, they do not include the printable lyrics as the sets do.  With 20 different "themes" to pick from, it certainly is fun to occasionally match up a song to go with the theme of the month in my students' classrooms.

When a student is so motivated by these apps that he demonstrates a new skill of navigating through 4 layers of an AAC app to say "I want + to play + iPad + Five Little Aliens app'' that is what I call determination! I hope one of the many song apps available strikes a similar chord in your household or classroom!

iSequences by Fundación Planeta Imaginario ($3.99)   UPDATE!  Read the full review HERE

Created with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome individuals in mind, iSequences can be used to work on sequencing skills, predicting what happens next, and recognition of emotions. It can also be used to practice using the past tense, or working on concepts like he/she. There is a lot you can do with it, and it comes with a large number of card sets. I like how you can choose exactly which ones you want to work on.  The fact that the app is multilingual is another added bonus too.  iSequences just got even better with the added ability to include custom sequences using your own photos- currently you can add 3 or 4 part custom sequences, and specify a "what happens next" image as well. I am hoping a future update will allow us to record voice over for the title of each sequence to match the function of the original sets included in the app. (There is also an iSequences app on Google Play for $3.75, but it does not yet have this newest addition of customized sequences.)


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