Sorry for the delay between posts! I figured the last week of February would be as good a time as any for my first post of 2013, so without further ado here is: Speech Therapy on the Fly
The use of apps have made the lives of speech-language pathologists and special educators around the world much easier. Well unless you have a parent hand you an iPad and say please program my child’s AAC app, depending on who you are you might run in the other direction! New apps are released daily and it’s almost impossible to keep track of them, heck it’s almost impossible to keep track of the apps I have on my iPad. We really need something better than a “folder” that holds only 20 apps don’t you think ?? Anyway let me get to the point of this post! I have been using a few apps lately that allow me to create on the fly and go with the flow of some of my moody clients or Appdapt with another app or to a pen and paper type program. Here are 3 great examples:
Puppet Pals HD Directors Pass $2.99 in the App store available for iPhone and iPad
Puppet Pals as been around a while and there is actually a Puppet Pals 2 that came out recently, however I still prefer the first version because you are able to use your whole body in the scene whereas Puppet Pals 2 you are only capable of using your head. So with this app you can quickly add a background scene and place virtually any characters in your scene. You then record your scene by moving your character around as the app records your voice and your character’s movements. You can see by the picture below that my client is really into dinosaur and enjoyed making the dinosaur eat him.
PicCollage – free for iPhone and iPad
PicCollage is a fabulous app that has lots of applications for therapy. The purpose of this app is to create collages using pictures from your camera roll and the web. The web search on this app is one of the most useful features you can literally add anything that comes to a client’s mind and instantly crop and add it to the collage.
The picture above is the start screen when opening PicCollage. You can see the options included which are: capturing a picture, adding a photo, photo from web, adding text, and adding stickers. Some stickers like hats or sunglasses are free but most you have to purchase. I quickly started using this app to pair with other apps. For example I have been using Rainbow Sentences by Mobile Education Store to focus on sentence structure with some of my clients. While using the Rainbow Sentences App I take screenshots of some of the sentences my clients were successful with and then use the screenshots in PicCollage. Here is an example:
As you can see the screen shot is the background image from Rainbow Sentences. I took a picture of my client, cropped her body out and inserted it into the collage. I then searched for roller skates and a helmet having my client request the type that she wanted. These were then cropped and placed on the picture to give the illusion that she is wearing skates and a helmet. Finally I searched for word bubbles and inserted that in as well with the text. So I was able to seamlessly transition to another activity but still working on the previous goals all while keeping my client motivated by having her personalize the picture.
Another use for PicCollage is with my older clients that I am using Nanci Bell’s Verbalizing and Visualizing. If you are unfamiliar with the program I recommend that you check it out. It focuses on having children create a whole image or a “gestalt” from auditory information and from printed material to improve their comprehension. I have been using this app at the Word Imaging and Sentence Imaging stages. As we work on images and sentences we are able to use this app to create virtually any sentence on the fly. For example we were working on the known noun “Christmas tree” and created a sentence “The girl is decorating the Christmas tree.” Naturally when asked what does this make you picture? my client simply repeated the sentence back to me without being able to actually visualize what the sentence meant to him. So in comes PicCollage to the rescue. Within in a few minutes we had this picture visualized as he explained each portion of the picture to me.
Notability $1.99 on Sale Now!
I originally got this app to use during conferences and workshops because you can upload handouts and write or record voice directly onto them. You are able to integrate handwriting with typing and recording to make taking notes easy. This app can also be used on the fly. I recently started working with a client that had moved out-of-state and only comes to the clinic while she is in town visiting. We were focusing on her /r/ sound and since she would only be seeing me for a short period I wanted something that she could take with her back home. Using Notability we typed and drew on the screen as we discussed the type of approach we were going to use to work on her /r/ sound. We then took some pictures of her tongue placement to remind her of what good and not so good placement looks like. I then printed it out and sent it home with her.