May 11, 2011

Using the iPad in Speech Therapy

The iPad is now one the most useful tools speech therapists have available for therapy. It is not only handy but also significantly more affordable than conventional paper

materials.But with so many apps on the app store, where does one begin? Here! Find a handy list of apps for  Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Articulation /Phonology, Language Skills, Fluency/Stutering, Voice and general utility apps for speech therapists after the jump!

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Provides a full featured augmentative and alternative communications solution for people who have difficulty speaking. This app provides natural sounding text-to-speech voices, high resolution up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a default vocabulary of over 7,000 items, advanced word prediction, full expandability and extreme ease of use.

An entry-level, easy to use, and powerful app that allows children and adults with a speech impairment or a communication disorder to express their wants and needs through the use of pictures. It does not matter if an individual is having difficulty communicating due to autism, apraxia, stroke or any other communication disorder, Expressive will give that person the ability to express themselves through the use of pictured images and corresponding audio.

Create pictures, flashcards, storyboards, routines, and visual schedules and record custom audio in any language. Converts any words with Text to Speech that do not have custom audio recorded. App includes 100+ pictures (the first 5 have audio) to get you started. You can add pictures with your camera, or from your camera roll, or use Google image search. This app can be utilized as audio visual prompting tool or AAC device.

A non-speaking, simple picture exchange system developed for people with Autism to communicate their needs independently. Users can select pictures to form a semantic sentence which they can then share, by tilting the iPhone or iPod Touch to create a full screen view, and pointing at each card to hear the listener read each word. With practice, the user learns to attempt their own vocalisations with the pictures serving as a back-up or prompt. 

Turns an iPhone,iPad or iPod touch into an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. Just tap a picture and Tap to Talk speaks. Each picture can lead to another screen of pictures. The free app comes with a fully functional album that you can use with your child. If you want to create albums that are individualized to meet the specific needs of your child, visit the Tap to Talk  website.

Verbally is a top-selling Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) iPad app and it's totally free! Unlike all other AAC solutions available, Verbally's unique, simple design allows users to communicate quickly and effectively in any setting.Verbally enables creative communication, self-expression, and, most importantly, conversation.

Articulation /Phonology

Smarty Speech

Smarty Speech is the application for children with articulation difficulties. It was developed by a Speech Therapist and includes all sounds in the English language. With Smarty Speech you have access to over 936 words with its respective images at the touch of a button. This is a tool that can be used to complement your assessment information, to make progress in therapy or to recommend to parents to complement therapy at home.


Articulate It!
Articulate it! is an application designed to help children practice their pronunciation skills. This app allows speech therapists and parents to work towards improving the speech of children with speech delays.Articulate it! contains over 1 thousand images in all sounds of the English language.


/r/ Intensive  
/r/Intensive  was developed as a result of “intensive” requests made by speech therapists working with a  high incidence of students seen for their difficulties with /r/. With over 450 target words /r/ intensive is the best tool for practicing this "interesting" phoneme. /r/intensive  uses a phonetic approach to teaching the “r” sound by creating subgroups that will hopefully make your student more successful in therapy.

Smarty Speech Spanish 

This app provides over 450 carefully selected images to help Spanish speaking children practice their sounds. Many children with difficulties pronouncing a sound would benefit from using Smarty Speech- Spanish.The sounds are organized in three categories: phonemes,  using phonetics alphabet, mode of articulation and phonological processes.


All About Sounds
An engaging app that makes it fun to learn and practice saying sounds in the initial position of words while playing a picture matching game. It combines an easy to use interface, colorful pictures, clear word production models, and exciting sound effects to keep children entertained while they learn. Features include: Initial Position Words for the following sounds/phonemes: m, p, h, n, w, b, k, g, t, d, y, f, r, l, s, ch, sh, z, dz, v, then Touch/tap selection screen to choose your sound, and the game automatically selects pictures that begin with that sound to create game board and Lesson Mode.  


Sunny Articulation Test
This app can be used to identify articulation error patterns in children as well as adults.The Sunny Articulation Test (SAT) is an individually administered clinical tool for screening, identification, diagnosis and follow-up evaluation of articulation skills in English speaking individuals.


Match2Say is the matching game for children that have difficulties producing some sounds. While they play they say the words and improve their articulation skills at the same time. Match2Say was developed by a speech therapist and can be used by parents to help thier child learn to pronounce their sounds quicker.

Speech Hangman 
The game is geared toward school-aged children with speech difficulties or typically-developing children for practice in saying their sounds. Words and phrases to be guessed in the game include an optional pre-recorded voice before articulation practice. The /L/ word and phrase list (initial, medial and final) is included FREE with app purchase

Smart Oral Motor 
Oral motor skills refer to the skills needed for basic functions such as eating and speaking. The muscles in the mouth, jaw, lips and tongue are responsible for smiling, facial expressions, and even swallowing. We know that in order to practice these skills effectively, children need to follow basic directions involving movements of the muscles in their mouths.Children with Apraxia of Speech, Down syndrome or craniofacial anomalies many times experience difficulties with their oral motor skills.
This is a 3D demonstration of all sounds in the English language.Speech Trainer 3D is a tool designed to help individuals to practice every sound in the English language, including vowels and consonants. With detailed 3D animations that demonstrate the correct positioning of the tongue, lips, and mouth, it is a great model for children and adults who wish to work on learning to pronounce the English sounds correctly. This is a great visual tool for individuals who have suffered a stroke and are relearning speech, children with speech delays, or even as a tool for learning English as a second language.

Language Skills

iTake Turns

A turn taking app with voice output! Taking turns can be very difficult for young children with disabilities. iTake Turns makes teaching turn-taking a lot more fun.This app can help teach the  very important concept of turn-taking.

ABA Flash Cards
Flash cards can be a great tool for fostering the mastery of new words, building vocabulary and conveying new concepts.This collection was seamlessly created with 52 superb, concrete, colorful images that are of high interest to both visual and auditory learners. By adding clearly pronounced real audio and text we’ve added another dimension to traditional flash cards encouraging vocal imitation for those with emerging language skills. Classical music is randomly played along with visual reinforcement to maintain your child’s interest while introducing them to the world’s most popular composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.


It is a well known fact that many children with a communication or language delay often will have difficulty answering simple Wh- Questions such as "What is your name?" or "What is this?". Children with autism even more frequently display difficulty with these skills involving basic communication. WhQuestions is an application designed to help children with language delays and disorders practice answering questions in the following formats:Who?, What?, Where?,How?, Why?

iPractice Verbs 

With over 120 verbs in present, present progressive, and past tense with corresponding high quality images and audio (totaling to almost 1000 stimuli) practicing verbs has never been so easy or intuitive. iPractice verbs also allows for practice at different levels: word, phrase, and sentence levels with the flexibility to select which verbs are to be practiced. There are two modes on iPractice verbs: “Flashcards” and “Find it”. The primary purpose of “Flashcards” is to practice learning the verbs; “Find it” on the other hand is a multiple choice game for selecting the correct verb. When the correct corresponding image is selected, there is audio praise, when the incorrect image is selected the choices are narrowed and the student is encouraged to “try again”. This way we maximize student success and learning.

Word Slapps

This app  is used to teach vocabulary words specific to your child’s world with images that you choose. Upload and save your images into customizable categories and pair them with your own recorded questions. Easy to use, WordSlapps is designed by an SLP and modeled after Discrete Trial teaching. Children touch target images and are rewarded with sounds and/or visuals. Target vocabulary words alone or with up to two other images to increase difficulty. Word Slapps comes pre-loaded with color and animal categories to start with.

Speech with Milo-Verbs

Created by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech with Milo: Verbs offers a versatile and entertaining speech therapy tool for children. The app is for speech therapists working with children, or parents who want to teach language skills to their children. Speech with Milo: Verbs is centered on an adorable and energetic mouse named Milo. Milo performs over 100 actions, such as “bounce,” “count,” and “play”. This provides an engaging way to build up an action word vocabulary in the child. Flash cards are typically used for this type of exercise, but the animation that comes with Milo will keep any child focused and attentive. The app comes with two sets of instructions- one for Speech Therapists and one for Parents.
Sentence Builder is designed to help elementary aged children learn how to build grammatically correct sentences. Explicit attention is paid to the connector words that make up over 80% of the english language. Sentence Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the grammar of all children.



Disfluency Index Counter

The easiest and cheapest way to track your %SS (Percentage of stuttered syllables).Disfluency Index Counter app allows Speech and Language Therapists to perform a live count of the number of fluent or disfluent syllables. It saves you time and makes figuring out the % of stuttered syllables a lot easier. The Disfluency Index Counter uses two simple buttons that record the amount of times the SLP pushes the buttons.There is an "F" button for a Fluency Syllable & and a "D" button for a disfluent/stuttered syllable. A live track of the total number of syllables recorded is shown on the main screen as well as the number of fluent and disfluent syllables/words entered.

Fluency tracker
Fluency Tracker is an application designed for individuals who stutter and parents of children who stutter. Fluency Tracker is the application that will complement the services of speech therapists in making progress towards a more fluent speech, positive feelings about speech, and reducing avoidance behaviors that are associated with stuttering. With Fluency Tracker individuals will be able to track changes in the frequency of disfluency, changes in avoidance behaviors, and feelings associated with speaking. Here is how Fluency tracker works: You will be able to enter the times you stutter throughout the day, you may also enter where and with whom you stuttered. The application will keep a log of this information for you. You can also enter every time you avoided speaking due to fear of stuttering, and the situations in which this behavior happened.
DAF Assistant implements Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF) and Frequency-shifting Auditory Feedback (FAF) techniques that are known to help people with stuttering to speak more fluently. DAF Assistant can be used by people who stutter to control their speech fluency, slow down speech rate, increase confidence level, and develop good speaking habits.It is known fact that people with stuttering problem usually speak better when do it together with another speaker. This, so called "chorus effect", causes significant increase in speech fluency. Delayed auditory feedback and Frequency-shifting Auditory Feedback simulate chorus effect by changing your own voice. DAF delays your voice to your ears a fraction of a second. The application provides delay range from 20 to 320 milliseconds with 10 millisecond increments. FAF shifts the pitch of your voice. The application provides pitch shift in the range from one-half octave down to one-half octave up. FAF enhances the effectiveness of the application when used simultaneously with DAF.


Voice Analyzer

Voice Analyzer is a real-time spectrum and spectrogram voice analyzer with the formants visualization for your iPhone and iPad. Spectrum analyzer, Spectrogram analyzer., Spectrum and spectrogram gain, Frequencies up to: 5.5kHz, 11kHz, 22kHz, Formants visualization, Start/stop of analysis.

S/Z Ratio 

With a built-in stopwatch feature, S/Z Ratio allows for the timing of a clientʼs /s/ and /z/ maximum phonation times. Once maximum phonation times are taken, an s/z ratio is instantly calculated. Calculated ratios are displayed in a color-coded fashion to provide visual feedback for quick interpretation of testing results. A reference information screen is also included to assist clinicians and clients in interpreting the obtained s/z ratio results. Consider using this application throughout the evaluation and treatment process: during initial evaluations, as a screening tool to identify the need for further assessment, during treatment sessions for visual, instant feedback, and as a re-evaluation measure of progress based on therapeutic interventions.

Utlity for Speech Therapist

SLP Goal Bank

The SLP Goal Bank is designed to be used as a clinical tool for speech and language pathologists.The SLP Goal Bank is an application designed to serve as a starting point to speech and language pathologists when creating goals for children and adults with speech and language delay. It is designed specifically for speech and language pathologists with the appropriate training and accreditation to allow them to work with these clinical populations and should only be used by such professionals. These goals have been created by trained speech and language pathologists following the guidelines provided by various training programs worldwide. They have been developed as a guide to planning appropriate intervention for patients/clients with a range of communication and swallowing disorders. However, the app only provides a general framework for treatment goals. Each client will present with individual needs, and therefore the app allows for tailoring of specific goals to these requirements. Remember that this should only be done following thorough evaluation. After all, you have to know what you want your client to be able to do.


iWrite Words
iWriteWords teaches your child handwriting while playing a fun and entertaining game.
Help Mr. Crab collect the numbers in sequence by dragging him with your finger - and drawing the letter at the same time!Once all the letters in the word are drawn properly, a cute drawing appears.Slide the letters into the rotating hole and advance to the next level.


SpellBoard: Spelling Words 
Whether you are a student, teacher or parent, we all know the weekly spelling drill. Monday, we get our weekly words. Wednesday, we have our pre-quiz and Friday is the spelling test. Of course, during the week there are endless impromptu spelling quizzes, -- at home, in the car, at dinner, before bed -- you get the idea. Well, all that may have just changed -- say hello to SpellBoard! SpellBoard allows you to create any spelling quiz in any language. That's right, you could even use this for your Spanish class! SpellBoard provides a fast and intuitive way for you to enter your list of spelling words. All you need to do is enter the word (correctly spelled) and the grade level (1-12). Optionally, you can enter a phrase for the word, antonyms and/or synonyms for the word. That's it! Now you are ready to study your word list and be quizzed on it.

(Source: Geek SLP)

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