Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Articulation & Phonology in Scribblenauts Land

This isn't an app review, but more of an Aha! moment....

I am a huge fan of Scribblenauts. I am absolutely fascinated by the fact that you can type in pretty much anything and they create it instantly and can spend way too much time playing it at home in therapy with my clients. I love the fact that it works on so many language goals, critical thinking and problem solving skills, making inferences, and everything else you want it to do. When I saw a level show up as an "adjective level" I was over the moon.


My dilemma came when a little one showed up on Monday demanding Scribblenauts for his artic therapy. Seriously they always want me to be creative on the spot! Anyway I thought for a bit and came up with the photos below to work on his "sh" sound.

Honestly I had to thank him for this one, because we have never had so much fun in Artic Therapy. We had great sentence level productions with the "chef on the ship", the "shell that fell on the shark," the "angry shark that attacked the chef" (and killed him.....sorry it got a little violent).  He was able to think of his own "sh" words and silly scenarios and we really targeted those sounds. 

After this session I was so excited to use it all through the week, both in artic therapy and in cycles at single word level. We made pictures for multisyllabic words, velars, clusters, everything. Now I'm hooked.  Another fave was my "farm in the forest." The frog in the picture was actually a farmer who got attacked by the evil fairy and got turned into this with the magic wand (not my fault). 
So I'm loving it. Check it out and use it for articulation & Phono therapy in the free play level. Let me know how it goes! 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sort this Out Pack - Review with Giveaway

It has been a while since I've done an app review, so when my friends over at Therapy Box  asked me to review one of their apps for Speech Therapy I just couldn't say no. It's a perfect app for us speechies as we head into a few months of summer fun, since I personally love summer time to really focus on categorization skills. These are some of the targeted language skills that are great for my summer groups.

Sort This Out Pack is an app which is designed to help work on children's categorization skills. Apps for categories are always a handy addition to any therapist's toolbox, since not only do they work on categorization skills, they also expand receptive and expressive vocabulary.  This colorful, and interactive app has a train theme (Who doesn't love trains?) where the train pulls into various stations; the beach, city, zoo, and theme park (The zoo animals are the cutest)

After a truck unloads the cargo boxes at each station, the train enters for collection, and the goal is to sort the items into two categories, which make up the carriages on the train. What I really like about this app is that you can customize your categories in the "Settings" panel, and chose what comes at each station. The set categories are ocean, weather, fruit, vegetables, animals, transport, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, tools, shapes, drinks, sports, body parts, plants, toys, cleaning, music, school, house, insects. Plus you have the option of adding your own categories using your personal photos. There is also a button to record your own voice to label each photo.

Another useful feature that can be customized when interacting with this app is the type of prompts provided. You can turn on auditory or written cues to add support where necessary.

I've been playing so far in "errorless" mode, where if you drop an item into the wrong carriage it will bounce back to the bottom of the screen to let you know that it doesn't belong there. However, there is also the option to turn this off, and then a blue symbol will appear to show which ones do not belong in that category.

At the end when all the items are in their correct categories, players are treated to a fireworks display and a "well done" from the conductor as the train moves off to the next station.

There is also a "results" page, which allows you to email results from each station for your personal records.

I've really been enjoying using this app so far, and it has been well received by the little ones in my practice. They love filling up the train, and I've also transferred it to my Thomas train set activity which allows us to sort items around the clinic.

As a therapist what I would suggest to the developers is the ability to add more categories. This way, as children master this level there is the opportunity to have 3 or 4 categories at one station, to make it more challenging.

If you think that this app sounds like it's for you, you can pick it up here on the iTunes store.

Our lovely friends at Therapy Box were kind enough to provide a copy for me to give away.  You can enter below with Rafflecopter. The winner will be announced next Tuesday!

*UPDATE* We have a winner!! Congrats to Kathleen for winning a copy of Sort This Out Pack App. I hope you enjoy using it in therapy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Functional? Reflections of a Therapist

For these moments when my mind rambles into a Facebook post, and I think to myself...."Hey that's a blog post right there...." 

Quick(ish) post between office work tonight, as I reflect on my day, and some of the 'awesomeness' that was created today in therapy (like some good old chocolate chip cookies....but I digress...). Today made me think about how many accommodations we as therapists make for our clients within the clinic setting. We try to present 'real life' scenarios that in reality are so far from real life....since sometimes without even realizing it we anticipate the difficulties a client may have, and make certain accommodations, provide the supports to suit. It's only when we place them in real world, true functional situations, that we realize how tough it really is in the world. I see this particularly with my patients with aphasia. Today for example we worked on a goal of calling places to find out certain types of info (mainly as it relates to numbers, since this is a goal). We practiced in a 'role play' first then made the calls, and it was only then that I realized how much I was, slowing down, and emphasizing the target information that she needed to find out. I also was more aware of how quickly people in customer service speak, and rattle off numbers (Not even mentioning factors like background noise etc.). Anyway Kudos to the persons at the companies I called today! They didn't have a clue that this was a therapy exercise, nor that the person not the other line had suffered a stroke, but still remained patient, slowed when they realized they weren't being understood, and made sure they clarified all the relevant information.  #foodforthought