APPy Wednesday everyone... and Happy Thanksgiving Eve to you, too! I am very excited to share this app review with you today. Speech Stickers is an app that was designed with children with Autism and motor speech disorders, such as Apraxia, in mind. I learned about this app while browsing message forums in an SLP Facebook group I am in. Carol Fast is a fellow SLP and the creator of this app. She shared a review of this app in the group and it immediately sparked my interest. I have a 7 year old student that has Cerebral Palsy and Apraxia of Speech. I have been using the Kauffman program with her but was looking for something a little more interactive (and attention keeping) to use. Speech Stickers was and is exactly what I was looking for!
Above is the main screen you will see when you open the app. I love how colorful and inviting it is! If you select the options button, you will see the screen below. This page allows you to set how many trials the student will need to complete to receive their reinforcement as well as orientation settings. The key to motor speech disorder therapy is repetition, repetition, repetition. I like that this app gives you the option to change/choose how many trials the student needs to complete before their reinforcement is earned. Many students have short attention spans or simply are very young and need frequent feedback. This can be increased or decreased as time and progress goes on.
After you have completed your settings, you can choose the phoneme to target. Unlike most articulation apps, this app breaks the sounds down into isolated phonemes and VC, VC combinations. Students are not directed to imitate whole words, but sounds/ sound combinations.
Once you have selected the target phoneme, you can begin therapy! The app produces the sound you have chosen so the student can imitate it. I really enjoyed the fact that the phoneme is produced with different intonations and by different speakers for each trial. This way students are not imitating monotone or computer-like sounds. After each imitation attempt, the student is allowed choose a sticker and put it on the page. You are able to discreetly score the student by awarding them with a check or X for each attempt. The app does not make a sound as you score them (another feature I like.)
After the student completes the assigned number of trials, they are able to choose a reinforcement. The reinforcement options include an animation of the stickers placed on the screen being removed by a rocket, dragon, shark, school bus, magic wand, shoe, bomb, bulldozer, or train! The screen shot below is of the balloons taking away a students stickers. They are then prompted with a fresh, blank background to decorate again!
What I LOVE about this app:
*It is clearly designed with motor speech disorders in mind. The average articulation apps do not work for children with Apraxia. I love that this app has so many phoneme isolation/combination options.
*The different voices/ intonation used for imitation trials.
*To change a sound or to go back to the home page, you have to double tap the button. Not so easy for students to escape the app! (Although, I haven't had anyone try to escape yet :)
*You can set the number of trials before a reinforcement is earned. Each student has individual needs (and attention spans) Customizing is important.
What I would like to see in the future:
*The only suggestion I would make for this app is the ability to save student data. Currently, I jot down the student's data for each trial period in a notebook. I would love it if I could save all of "Jaelyn's" data in a folder in the app. This way I could see the progress made since we started using the app all in one place.
I highly recommend this app for anyone working with young students that have Autism or a motor speech disorder. You can learn more about this app and download a copy here. Speech Stickers is currently listed for $14.99 in the iTunes Store. Feeling lucky? Carol so kindly provided an extra code for one lucky Simply Speech reader! You can try to win a copy below. The winner will be announced Sunday.
Happy Thanksgiving and good luck!