There are many speech apps in the app community but do they do the job? Have you been struggling to find expressive/receptive apps, a category app that includes sorting and category naming, or an interactive articulation app? Following are three that track data, meet IEP goals and engage the student. The apps are from Smarty Ears, a company that provides user-friendly apps that track data and help both therapist and student meet their goals.
Categories Learning Center $9.99 Categories Learning Center is a multi-level, multi-player app that helps language comprehension for individuals of any age. It is believed that understanding categories may prove useful for individuals of all ages with word finding, memory, and reading comprehension difficulties. Categories Learning Center works on sorting level 1 and level 2: where does it go? Within the settings, you can choose from two or three categories. In addition, sorting is a beginning math skill: This skill helps children to organize their world and differentiate properties of objects. It is also a building block to numerical concepts, which later require children to group “sets” of objects. The more complicated the sorting is, the higher-level understanding is involved. (Brighthorizons)
Fun and Functional $9.99 This app helps with receptive and expressive language needs. The app is best used one to one, as student needs to use their expressive abilities when identifying a picture. The therapist can choose the category the student needs to work on in the settings. In addition you can choose just expressive, alternating receptive-expressive and how many items per screen. Categories include electronics, clothing, occupation, grooming, kitchen and more. Receptive skills are tracked by the app. The therapist needs to check the expressive language from three choices: missed it, almost or got it! The results show the therapist the date, categories worked on, level of play, items per screen, receptive and expressive accuracy and the total number of questions. This app allows users to improve vocabulary, describing ability and associations between words (Bromley, 2007).
Articulation Pro $89.99 If you're looking for a complete articulation app, here it is. It includes 22 letter sounds, which target initial, medial and ending sounds. Each sound comes with a mini tutorial for lay people to understand how to best use the sound. Each sound comes with words, sentences, and stories to help students with the letter sound. Sentences can be rotating sentences, which land on a surprise word, keeping the student's attention. The therapist works with the student checking off correct and incorrect answers. Students can also be recorded so they can hear how they sound. Upon completion of a sound the therapist receives the student's score. The app is beautifully executed and easy to use. Most important the app can grow with the student, making this a worthwhile investment.
Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.