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Monday, August 13, 2012

Nearly There

Nearly There by FirstyWork is a wonderful story based on two horses, Budley and Bishop. The two horses go on a wonderful journey with some unique friends that they meet along the way in this story. The pictures in this story are very different from other stories I have read but I really liked them. The story is very interactive as you can press what each of the animals are saying along the way in the story. I would have liked to have seen an auto read choice for the main story but even without it it's ok as all you need to do is tap the words at the top and it will read it aloud. The map of the animals journey is really neat and one of my kids favorite parts as they could see where the animals had to go on their journey. There is also a coloring section with 5 different images for your children to color on their own. The song the book has is also in a selection of it's own so you can listen to the song when you want without reading the story too. There is a section to choose where you can see real pictures of Budley and Bishop along with the other animals cared for by Johanna and Gabrielle. The story does have some parts in that could make a parent nervous such as the death of one of the animals. This part is done very nicely but some parents may not want to discuss that yet so I just want everyone to be aware it's in there. I always would recommend running through any story yourself before listening to it with your child just in case. In all I really enjoyed this story and so did my children. They love horses and all the other animals in the story. I would highly highly highly recommend this fun story about some very unique friends :)


Monday, August 6, 2012

Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language and Auditory Development

Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language and Auditory Development makes wonderful apps. I have loved each and everyone of them. Tonight I'm going to tell you about the three newest apps in their collection.

Talk About It: Objects Pro HD: This app is wonderful for speech therapist but also is very easy to use at home. I tested this app out of age bracket to see how well it would work with my almost 5yr old and they are absolutely correct that it can be adapted to younger children. The app is designed for ages 6-12 but I found it works well with a few tweaks with my 5yr old and he loved it!. My other children also enjoyed the app and it works very well for them as well. Don't let that little panda bear fool you this app is no means babyish. The pictures in the app are very realistic and some of the choices can be quite difficult but not so hard they can't be answered. This app helps build on defining, describing, vocabulary development, explaining, and understanding objects and place. The app also can help build on artic and fluency as well. There is different settings to adjust this app as you need or want to use it and there is mini games to hold your child's interest and reward them. The app builds on expressive and receptive language skills with things such as the guess boxes (receptive) and talk about it (expressive). Their iTunes description is very well written to explain the app and tell you what else is included with in. You can also check out their website for additional information. The pro addition is for use with more then one user. If you only have one user using this app you can check out this: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/talk-about-it-objects-home-hd/id545867254?mt=8
With the pro edition you can have up to 30 users making it perfect for school, therapy, and larger households with more then one user you would like to track :) Highly highly highly recommended app :)

First Words International Pro HD: This app is wonderful for multi-language families. This app comes in seven different languages such as: English, Spanish, French, and more. The app works on both receptive and expressive language in all the different languages. The app comes with 50 objects and are shown 10 or more different ways to help special needs children/adults generalize the meaning of the words. There is three activities: Learn the Word, Find the Word, and Say the Word. Learn the word helps teach what the word means and familiarize the user to the word. Find the word is a receptive language activity where the user must find the item that is being said. Say the word is the expressive part of the app where the user must say the word of the object shown. There is many different settings in the app to adapt to the user. This is the pro version and once again is used for multiple users up to 30. Perfect for schools, therapy, and larger households. There is a home edition available for single users at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/first-words-international/id540590752?mt=8.  This app is amazing even if your child doesn't speak another language and I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)

You're the Storyteller: The Surprise Pro HD: This has to be one of my favorites. I thought this app was adorable and very fun to play with. The app is amazing for expressive language skills as your child makes up the story. If the user can not talk but can type this app is still amazing. There is 8 chapters in the story the user must create. The pictures are there for you but you get to chose what is being said and write/tell the story by yourself. The app includes "challenge words" and "questions" to make it a little bit harder for the user as well. My children are not quite up to the challenge for the use of those yet but boy did they have fun. My almost 5yr old was having a blast trying with all his might to make up a story which really helped build on his expressive language. My 8 1/2yr old almost has it but she has a real hard time with imagination so she kinda copied mom lol. My 7yr old well he's not too much into talking without it being about sports he mainly said "puppy" through the app but we will keep trying :). If the user can type there is also the option of writing the story which is a really cool feature for users that are nonverbal and can type or older children learning to write stories as well. I hope to see more of these apps in the future from Hamaguchi as they are really neat :). This is the pro version but you can find the single user home edition at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/youre-storyteller-surprise/id527223436?mt=8. I highly highly highly recommend this app :)