Sunday, October 12, 2014

Trick or Treating With Children Who Have Expressive Language Needs

Halloween is rapidly approaching! It got me thinking about my preschoolers with apraxia and other expressive language deficits. What can be done for the children who are unable to say "Trick or Treat?" A brief chat with one of my favorite #SLPEEPS on Twitter inspired me to compile a list of signs that our children can use on Halloween. These can be handed out or affixed to a costume. It also will help to bring awareness to apraxia and other speech disorders. Don't you just LOVE the internet?! So many great resources floating around!

1. Editable Halloween card children can hand out the night of Halloween.

From: The Facebook group - Apraxia Kids - Every Child Deserves A Voice 

2. Thank you so much for your kindness! Like above, these can be handed out the night of Halloween.

From: The Facebook group - Apraxia Kids - Every Child Deserves A Voice

3. I am unable to speak so...Trick or Treat...and thank you!

 I am unable to speak so...

4. Hello! My name is ______......

5. Trick or Treat?!

Halloween is a time for children to let their imaginations run wild, ALL children. During this time I like to be reminded of this with a quote that has been floating around the web for some time. I'm not sure of it's origination, but it certainly captures the a sentiment we should all keep in mind. 

What will you be doing for your children with limited expressive language this Halloween?

********HAPPY HALLOWEEN!********

Sunday, September 14, 2014

OverDrive - {App Review}

I love infusing literacy into my therapy sessions. When I don't have the ability to access a desired book I use the OverDrive app. This application allows you to read eBooks, listen to audio-books, and watch videos from your library. And because it's through your library, it's absolutely FREE!

Use the barcode located on your library card to access digital materials
To get started, add your local library to the OverDrive app. Afterwards sign into your library account using your account number and password. Once logged in, users are able to browse books by title, reading levels, subject, etc. 

Searches can be filtered by publisher, reading levels, subject, etc.

Prior to borrowing my book, I was able to view sample pages in my browser

After deciding on a book, users usually have the option of viewing it in a browser or downloading it. I chose to download and view it with my kindle app (I have an iPad). Users will not need a wifi connection to read it after it has been downloaded.

Download your book to Kindle (device or app) or to Adobe e-book reader

My library allows users to borrow up to 10 titles. Materials are usually available for digital loan anywhere between 7 to 14 days. If you need more time with your selections you can also renew them. Below you will find 2 images of an e-book I borrowed and downloaded with the kindle app.

Image 1

Image 2
The app is available for every major desktop and mobile platform, including Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, Kindle, NOOK, Windows 8 PC and tablet, and Windows Phone.

Although nothing can replace the experience an actual book can provide, I love that I don't have to deal with the added clutter they cause in my car and work bag (If you read my previous post, you will recall that I travel throughout the day). 

Do any of you use electronic books in your sessions?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Freebie - Parent Welcome Letter for the Traveling Pediatric SLP

If you have been following me on Twitter and Instagram, you probably know that I now work with preschoolers as a traveling SLP. Since I commute to a variety of sites, I do not always have the ability to discuss the policies of my employer to parents. This welcome letter is meant to do just that. Fun topics like make-up sessions and inclement weather are all addressed :)

Front view
Back view

Feel free to download the form and edit as you please!

Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 Better Hearing and Speech Month Flyer

As most of you probably know, Better Hearing and Speech Month is rapidly approaching! Last year, I created a flyer to distribute to teachers regarding classroom acoustics.  It received a lot of attention on pinterest, so I wanted to update the flyer with this years logo (not as cool as last years if you ask me). The logo and information were obtained from ASHA's webiste.

Grab your flyer here!

What are you doing to promote Better Hearing and Speech Month?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

iName It {App Review & Giveaway}

iName It ($14.99), an app by Smarty Ears was designed for those with word finding deficits. Although it was designed with adults in mind, iName It can also be used with children. 

Ten items are targeted across five rooms. The rooms are: bathroom, bedroom, garage, kitchen, and living room (all seen below).

iName It targets five rooms typically found in a home

After you select a user (seen below), you can select the scene you want to work with.

Users can use their own photo or select an avatar

A tray of ten items will be located on the bottom of the screen. Users locate the item in the scene by clicking on it. For those that need a little more support, the scene can be changed to black and white. Only the ten images will be highlighted (indicated below).

When the correct image is selected, users can press the green check. Afterwards, you will see the item checked off on the tray located on the bottom of the screen (seen below).

Users can keep track of correctly selected items

If responses are incorrect, users can select the blue button (located near the green check) for cues. The cues include: the first two letters of the image, written description of the item, phrase completion,  auditory presentation of the first syllable of the word, and finally the whole word.

Example of the written description cue

What I liked:
  • Each scene is realistically depicted
  • Several types of cues are available for those that need assistance with retrieving the name of items
  • Performance can be tracked
  • Date on performance can be shared 
  • The app can also be used for those who speak Spanish or Portuguese
iName It is rather straightforward. I can't think of anything I didn't like!

To see iName It in action take a look at the video below:

introduction to iName it for iPad: An app for individuals with Aphasia from Smarty Ears on Vimeo.

For a chance to win a code of iName It enter below. The giveaway ends Friday, April 18th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that comments will ONLY appear once I've reviewed and approved them (prevents postings from spam-bots). If your comment doesn't appear immediately, wait a few hours. 

Disclosure Statement: I was provided a copy of this app by the developer. No other compensation was provided. This review includes solely my opinions.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Language Trainer {App Review & Giveaway}

I can't believe it's 2014! The year 2013 was chock full of change, so pardon me for not posting anything since November. Since my last post, I have moved from New York to Pennsylvania, begun working with preschoolers (I think about my middle school kiddos almost everyday), and purchased a home! My husband and I are almost settled in our house, this gives me some time to get back to my blog.

Hooray for homeownership!
I'm excited that my first post for the year will be an app review and giveaway from Smarty Ears called Language Trainer ($14.99).

Language Trainer contains four activities (see below) that include: picture identification, picture naming, divergent naming, and sentence completion.

Language Trainer offers 4 tasks that target receptive & expressive language
Picture Identification:
Users can select an avatar or an existing photo. For the picture identification task, you can increase difficulty by incrementally upping the number of images from two (2) all the way up to five (5).

Settings Screen

Users are instructed to point to an item that is presented auditorally.

Users identify the correct image in the picture identification task
Picture Naming
After being presented with an image, users have the ability to record the name of the item. Their responses can be marked as correct, incorrect or cued (this means the user was provided with some assistance).
Example of the picture naming task
Divergent Naming
Much like the difficulty levels for Picture Identification, users of Divergent Naming can choose to name anywhere between two (2) to six (6) items. Directions can be repeated and responses recorded. 
Users can only be correct/incorrect for this divergent naming task 
Sentence Completion
Lastly, the sentence completion task provides users the ability to provide multiple responses to complete a visually and auditorally presented sentence. As with the picture naming task, users are able to have the sentence repeated as well as have their responses recorded.
Sentence Completion Example

What I Liked:
  • Data can be monitored and user performance can be shared with various parties. Additionally, you are able to add any pertinent information and email it with the "Add Notes" option. You can also open historic data in Therapy Report Center, iBooks, Dropbox, print, or just copy.
User performance can be shared all at once or individually
  • There is an option to increase the level of difficulty as you progress. If you are consistently getting items correct when presented in a field of 2, it will be presented in a field of 3. 
  • The items that are presented can be modified via the "Modify Database" (see below).
Presented items can be selected or removed at users discretion 

What I Would Like To See:
  • It would be nice if Language Trainer was more customizable and had the ability to add photos of your own

To view Language Trainer in action take a look at the video below:

Language Trainer by Smarty Ears from Smarty Ears on Vimeo.

App Compatibility:
Language Trainer is compatible with iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Want to try it out for yourself? Please enter below for a chance to win a free download of this app. The giveaway ends Friday, January 31st at 12:01 AM. Good luck!

Please note that comments will ONLY appear once I've reviewed and approved them (prevents postings from spam-bots). If your comment doesn't appear immediately, wait a few hours. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure Statement: I was provided a copy of this app by the developer. No other compensation was provided. This review includes solely my opinions.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunny Articulation Phonology Test {Guest App Review}

This post has been long overdue. For those of you who don't follow me on my Facebook page, I have recently relocated from New York to Pennsylvania with my new hubby. Actually, tomorrow will be my first day of work with the 3-5 population! After working with middle schoolers for the past 2 years, I welcome the change that preschoolers offer! Needless to say, my posts will be reflective of the new age group that I will be working with. I hope you all stay tuned as I write about my new adventure!

I'm excited to introduce you to a fantastic SLP that I was fortunate enough to work with during my time at my middle school. Jeanette will be reviewing the Sunny Articulation Phonology Test app. Take it away Jeanette! 

I am very excited to bring you all my very first product review from Smarty Ears! As a pseudo-techy Speech-Language Pathologist, I can appreciate the Sunny Articulation Phonology Test (SAPT) and its uses with the iPad ($49.99). At first glance it appeared to be just another artic app, but as I continued to use it I found that it had a plethora of features.  

First, the app features a video tutorial. It is a quick and easy to understand resource to get you started. Manual information for the SAPT can be found within the app. Like many other apps out there, the SAPT allows you to enter each individual student’s demographic information.  This app separates itself from the competition in that it lends itself to both articulation screenings and a full evaluation of the student’s articulatory repertoire.

Next, is a must-see feature, which includes the ability to change orientation depending upon where the clinician is seated in relation to the student’s seating placement. This allows you to document the student’s articulation while testing is going on.

The screening version contains 30 words and evaluates 65 different phoneme targets including both consonants and consonant blends. Whereas, the full evaluation consists of 46 words with 103 targeted phonemes!

During testing the clinician can readily view the target phoneme as it is written in green. Once the clinician indicates the student’s error, the target phoneme turns red. You also have the option of utilizing the single recording feature to record the student’s production of the picture stimulus. Clinicians are also able to take notes, note the level of intelligibility, and indicate the type of error observed (i.e. distortion, substitution, omission).

As an often-frazzled school-based SLP, I can appreciate the detail that goes into the test report. The report includes:
·      sound development norms
·      detailed descriptions of the student’s articulation errors
·      break down of accuracy across the initial, medial, and final position of the word
·      a review of the types of errors the student made
·      discussion of place, manner, and voicing of target phonemes
·      transcription of the student’s articulation errors

Once the clinician has completed the administration of the screening or test, the scores and reports are immediately available to print or email.

I absolutely LOVE the Sunny Articulation Phonology Test! This app is a valuable resource as it allows for you to screen, evaluate, and track progress over time. I found it very easy to use and extremely detailed in the report it generates. As a school-based SLP I can already see the advantage of using such a test for Response to Intervention (RTI) and elementary level speech screening purposes. The one caveat that I found while reviewing this product is that this is not a standardized assessment tool and therefore cannot be used to meet eligibility criteria. Other than that, this is a product that I would recommend to any speech-language pathologist, especially the techy ones!

I hope you all have enjoyed my very first product review almost as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thank you,
Jeanette L. Clarke, M.A., CCC-SLP/TSSLD

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