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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Synapse Apps, LLC (Pocket SLP)

Synapse Apps, LLC or otherwise known as Pocket SLP make some amazing apps for speech and language. Today I'm going to talk about a few of their different apps I use in my home with my three children :)

Category Carousel: This app helps build your child's vocabulary in a fun way. Your child will choose a category (or multiple categories) and then sort them into different categories. Your child first touches the picture and then gets to hear the word said aloud before moving them into the correct category. They then can spilt it into sub-categories. There is nine different categories and subcategories in this app. Some of them are: animals, clothing, occupations, winter, and much more. The spoken part of the app is very clear with a real humans voice so your child can easily understand the speaker. I found the app a little confusing at first but once I figured out how to use it it became no problem. First you select a category (or categories) then you pick some items on the next board and drag them to the item at the top where they fit into (you must drag them onto the item not next to it), then you sort them into the subcategories above by dragging them into the correct subcategory. The app is simple to use once you get the hang of it and it is very useful in helping your child learn these skills I would highly highly recommend this app :)

One Step Two Step: This app helps your child learn step directions. There is 23 different scenes and almost 500 different directions included in this app. There is a simple "game" to help with following and giving directions as well. The "Pro" version allows adding names, multiple children at one time, and recording and exporting data. There is two levels of difficulty (caterpillar and butterfly) in each of the scenes included. There is a tutorial included on the main screen of the app in case you need some help with how to use this app. You must work directly with your child while using this app. There questions are asked aloud by pressing on the direction button but you must choose which question # to be asked and also press correct or incorrect for your child. The app is pretty neat as it's kinda like a giant seek and find app with a purpose of learning. My children really seemed to enjoy this. When you enter the scenes you get a page that looks like a coloring page. Your child then must follow the directions such as find the birds on the house and color them blue. Depending on how far you go on the directions you could have almost an entire page colored by the time you are done :). I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)

Describe It (SLP): This app helps improve describing skills. This app was designed by a certified speech and language pathologists and was done so in a fun and exciting way for children to learn describing skills. There is two games to help learning: Pass It and Guess It. Pass It is a came like "Catch Phrase" where the users go into two groups to describe the pictured item. The users describe the item while your other teammate guesses. Once your teammate guesses you pass the ipad on to the next team until the timer runs out. Guess It is where they get to touch the clues to guess what's behind the card. There is also a study section where you can learn about the different items such as what it taste likes, feels like, smells like, ect. There is a tutorial also included in this app to help you if you need help with using the app. This is a really fun app especially to use in a group setting. I would highly highly highly recommend this app :)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Integrated Listening System (iLs)

The Integrated Listening System or iLs (as it's popularly known) is an amazing system that my 7yr old son has recently started using in O.T. sessions. He has been using this system for the last 4months appx one day a week for an hour at a time. He has made amazing progress in these last 4 months that no one can even imagine. I only can think to thank iLs, his wonderful O.T., and his current teacher for helping him to get where he is now. Since using this system he has gone from being a below average student to an above average student almost overnight. Last year his teachers and doctor thought he had sever ADHD and kept wanting to up and add meds. I stood my ground saying he was not like that at home and that I fully believed it was sensory setting him off in school and outside of home. Since starting this system and using the sensory motor program on iLs he has NO symptoms of ADHD other then impulse control and a few other quirks that goes with his other dx of Autism not just ADHD. OK now onto tell you a little about the system itself. There is many different programs you can buy that might fit your budget a little better then the one my son uses in therapy. The one my son uses is the Total Focus Series which includes the following:
  • iLs Programs loaded onto an Apple iPod
  • Sennheiser headphones custom-fitted with bone conduction capability
  • iLs mini-amplifier with adjustable air and bone conduction volume
  • Frequency filtration from 0-4KHz; dynamically controlled gating
  • Integration Kit and Playbook for visual motor and balance activities
  • Custom rechargeable amplifier for up to 8 hours of continual use
  • Beltpack – adjustable for children and adults
  • iLs Carrying Case
  • Pre‐loaded Programs:
    • Sensory Motor
    • Concentration/Attention
    • Reading/Auditory Processing
    • Optimal Performance for teens/adults
    • Interactive Language Activities
    • Calming/Preparatory mini‐Program

    There is many other programs as well that come with a smaller ipod Nano, less programs, and other adjustments to lower the price and fit home needs or smaller settings better. There is also a pillow option that comes with a music player that fits inside the provided pillow and offers bone conduction as well while your child sleeps. I did get to take home the pillow for a week to try with my son from his O.T. I loved the pillow but I think he would have liked the new pillow inserts much better that fit inside your child's pillow case with their own pillow. Both options of these pillows are really neat. They can help provide a little extra support with sleep problems with the music they play along with the bone conduction included. I did put my own head down on the pillow since I had it at home just to try it out and I thought it was really comforting.
    This is the one I got to take home for a week (not this exact one this is a pic from their website).

    Applications for all ages

    • Reduce anxiety and improve sleep
    • De-sensitize those with auditory sensitivity
    • Headphone-free acclimation to sound; preparing wait-list clients for therapy
    • Supplement to clinic programs or as a stand-alone home program

    The iLs Pillow is sold complete with the following:

    • Ergonomic foam pillow and waterproof cover
    • Music Player - loaded with 3 programs to choose from
    • Two bone conductor transducers imbedded into the pillow
    This is their newest option the pillow insert.

    Applications for all ages

    • Reduce anxiety and improve sleep
    • De-sensitize those with auditory sensitivity
    • Headphone-free acclimation to sound; preparing wait-list clients for therapy
    • Supplement to clinic programs or as a stand-alone home program

    The iLs Pillow is inserted into your own pillow case

    • Foam pillow with washable, waterproof cover
    • Music Player - loaded with 3 programs to choose from
    • Two bone conductor transducers imbedded into the pillow
    • Dimensions: 8”W x 15”L x 1.25”H
    To see the rest of their options of products here's their product website:

    Now a lot of you might say "she's crazy!!! These products are outrageous!!!" ect. ect. but I'm telling you I have never seen these results with my child with any other system. Now will if "fix" your child NO! and I can't guaranty it will work with your child but it's a product I've seen the biggest improvement ever with. My youngest son may be starting to use it soon as well in therapy. I'm hoping for similar results but each and every child is different. I would love to own one of these in my home and some day maybe I will be able to. My 7yr olds therapist said that she thinks he would improve even more if we could get more in at home along with the one day a week with her. This was just a product I had to tell you all about. I've seen others like it without the bone conduction in them but I have to say I swear by the bone conduction and their programs that I don't believe I would ever try anything else at this point :). Ok I've rambled on a little bit here lol but I'm just sooo excited about this. If any of you ever have any questions feel free to message me and/or iLs and I know they would be happy to answer any and all questions about this wonderful product :)


    This is my son wearing the iLs system at therapy :)

    Saturday, December 15, 2012


    ConversationBuilderTeen by Mobile Education Store is a wonderful app for teens to learn more about how to have a conversation with their peers. Some children have problems communicating  with their peers in social settings. They may have problems with understanding sarcasm, bullying, ect. This app helps show them how to have an appropriate conversation. They will learn when it's appropriate to introduce themselves, ask questions, change subjects, ect. They will also learn to recognize sarcasm and how to respond. There is eight themes included in this app: school, relationship, sports, entertainment, bullying, sarcasm, clothes, and summer. There is over 300 conversations included and also includes the ability to work in a group setting or a one-on-one setting as well. You can archive and email conversations as needed. There is parental controls as well as a video tutorial included in the app to adjust this app to your needs. The pictures are very realistic and the settings are age appropriate and the spoken part of the app is clear and easy to understand. The app gives you three choices on how to respond to the comment made. Each of the three choices can be read aloud to the user so no reading is required. After the user makes a selection they tell you if it was a good choice and then has the user record their answer. I love how the conversation keeps going after you make one choice. It doesn't go on to a different topic. The first one I found on the app was a girl running. You had to respond to the girls comment. There is a back and forth type of conversation going on. First they make a comment then you and then her, then you, ect..... If you get an answer wrong it will tell you why you should make a different choice and then tell you to try again. I think this app is wonderful for teens on up. You can even use it for your younger child as well with certain adjustments with the settings but there is another conversation app that may suit the younger users more. This app talks about teen issues and their type of settings with bullying, sports, ect. I would highly highly highly recommend both of the ConversationBuilder apps that Mobile Education Store offers depending on your child's needs :)


    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    Virtual Speech Center Inc.

    Virtual Speech Center Inc. brings you many different types of speech apps to help your your child grow and learn. Each of their speech apps have a different purpose and make learning speech fun and enjoyable for your child. I am going to tell you about their five most recent app additions today. The five apps are: Verbs News, Articulation Games, Farm Academy, Sentence Workout, and WH-Questions Island.

    Verbs News: This app is a wonderful addition to speech apps everywhere. This app includes 190 regular and irregular verbs with real-life pictures. You are welcomed by Andrew a newsroom anchor who has 4 movies to show you about verbs. Your child can at the end of the session play the anchor and record their own news and then watch it in the newsroom. This video can not be saved due to HIPPA rules but is a wonderful addition to the app. My children really loved this little extra :). There is three ways to practice verbs in the app: auditory bombardment, fill-in, and make-up sentences. There is a recording feature in the app so your child can listen to themselves back. You can enter many students in the app which makes it wonderful for classroom use as well as home. You can email the results at the end of the game as well to share to who you need to. There is many options in the app where you can choose the verbs you wish to work on or if you would like to only work on regular or irregular verbs. This app has been a wonderful addition in our home for working on verbs. I would highly highly highly recommend this app for learning verbs :)


    Articulation Games: This app brings lots of fun to speech-therapy. The app includes thousands of real-life flashcards. The audio in this app is done very well. There is four different ways to play: flashcards, memory games, sweet spinner, and artic wheel. All these games include many different phonemes. If you look on their itunes link provided below you will be able to see all included in this app. You can enter many students in this app and have the ability to email at the end of the game as well. I really like how you can choose more then one phonemes to work on along with choosing: word, phrases, or sentence and initial, medial, or final. Each of the items has where you can record your child saying the word so they can hear themselves back. This option allows your child to hear what they may have said wrong. It not only has where your child can hear themselves but also a speaker that can say the word to them as well. I love using this app with my boys. It seems to keep them interested since it's in game format and they do not have to be able to read to know what the words are. You do have to be there to score this app since they are to say the words aloud but having someone else say the words is nice since they articulate the words very very well on the app. I would highly highly highly recommend this app for help with artic :)


    Farm Academy: This app is for the younger crowd but is still a lot of fun. It targets both receptive and expressive language. Your children will learn 16 farm animals, fruit and veggies, numbers 1-5, and the difference of big and small. There is 8 different activities in two modes of play. Learning mode: learn animals, learn food, learn sizes, and learn counting. Play mode: find animals, feed animals, sizes, and counting. This app is so cute and friendly. It is teaching basic skills in a fun way. My kids loved to look at all the different animals in the app. This app is more cartoonish then some of their other apps but that makes it perfect for toddlers since it will hold their interest longer then real-life pictures would at the age. The voice is done very well in the app. My favorite activity had to be the find animals game. This task is still difficult for my kids since it involves following directions. I would highly highly highly recommend this app for children needing help with these basic skills or toddler to preK :)


    Sentence Workout: This app sure appealed to my kids right away. First off it's sports related and then it's soccer! This app helps your child say and build sentences. The first activity is say sentences where your child practices sentence by answering questions orally. Your child can record their sentence so they can hear it back and compare it to the native productions. With "build your sentence" your child practices written sentence by dragging and dropping the words to make a complete sentence. Once they have dragged and dropped they then can play their sentences back so they can make corrections as needed. The app includes over 350 sentences with 37 different sentence structures. You can make changes to the settings as needed to auto-score, disable/enable soccer game, and many more things within the app. My children really love the soccer game reward for working on the app. I found it to be a wonderful reward for them. You do need to remind your child when working with the app not to just say the word when it asks: What is this? and then score correctly based on if they said the sentence vs. the word. You can choose many different types of sentence structures in this app so make sure you check the top to show your child and give them an example first of how they should be saying the sentence. I would like to see an example at the start of each "say it" sessions as I think it would be really helpful for the child to know what they are to be doing first. I would still highly highly highly recommend this fun and enjoyable app :)


    WH-Questions Island: This has to be my most favorite of them all from Virtual Speech Center Inc.. I love any app having to do with WH-Questions and this one is done very well. For starters they did a pirate theme which is a wonderful idea since a lot of children love pirates plus they are really cute even for adults ;). This is set in board game fashion and offers rewards for practicing wh-questions along the way. There is two types of activities: flashcard and board game. The app works on both receptive and expression language. There is 480 different questions within the app: 80 What, 80 When, 80 Where, 80 Why, 80 Who, and 80 How questions. I love the little board game pieces you get to choose from in the app. My daughters fav is the pink and purple girls of course. My boys are undecided which are their favs yet lol. The pictures are very realistic and the voice is once again done very well. I did discover a small glitch in the app I will be reporting them in this app but I'm sure it will be fixed immediately :). This app is amazing and my kids are enjoying it a lot. I would really highly highly highly recommend this app :)



    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    Category TherAppy

    Category TherAppy by Tactus Therapy Solutions Ltd. is a wonderful app for categorizing skills. This app includes four activities and three levels. The four activities are: find, classify, add one, and exclude. The three levels are: concrete categories, subcategories, and abstract categories. There is around 700 images in 70 categories. This app is wonderful for many different ages. One big positive with Tactus Therapy is that they make their apps simple, clear, and with real images throughout. There is no distracting sights or sounds that don't completely go with the direct images at hand. They even have a child-friendly mode that can be used for working with children at home, schools, and therapy. The accent of the person used in the app can be very easily understood. There is a free version of this app to try to make sure this will fit your family/school/therapy. I have loved all their apps as they work wonders on my children. With no distractions they can focus at the task at hand and have learned a lot while using them. Please try out the free versions of each of their apps to see if they will work for you. I highly highly highly recommend :)

    From their website:

    3 Types of Categories:

    • EASY: Concrete Categories (animals, foods, clothing, etc.)

    • MEDIUM: Subcategories (birds, fruit, footwear, etc.)

    • HARD: Abstract Categories (metal things, cold things, flying things, etc.)

    • YOU control which categories to target within each level!

    • FIND:

      • Touch the item that belongs to the target category

      • Nearly 700 full-color images – no drawings or animations

      • Each word can be heard by touching the printed word or speaker

      • Single touch is the only gesture required, perfect for those with limited motor skills

      • Results are Automatic:

        • Scoring is automated in the app with on-screen tracking of success and progress

        • E-mail results in report-ready format

        • Set a default e-mail address so clients can send results directly to the SLP during home practice