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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: ApraxiaVille app review

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ApraxiaVille app review


ApraxiaVille is an app from Smarty Ears, and is the newest speech app that I have downloaded to use at work and with Ashlynn my daughter with CAS.
To get started, you create your players.  You can make an avatar, or import your own picture.  The application allows up to four players, which is nice from an SLP perspective, since you can use it during group therapy.
Next, you choose your activity from a list of three.  The first activity is the sound windows, which allows the child to practice a sound.
The avatar gives the child a visual and audio cue on how to say the sound.  In the upper right corner is a camera, and if you press it, the child can see themselves in the window as they try to mimic how to say the sound.  I was a little skeptical about this, but I tried it with Ashlynn (my daughter who is 3 and 1/2) on a sound she hasn't been able to say.  /f/  I have cued her and showed her the current production many times, but she loved seeing it on the avatar and then looking at herself in the camera.  Guess what?  We have /f/ in isolation!  Wahoo!

The next activity is the Farm house.  In this activity, you can choose from a variety of syllable structures and sound groups.  This is exactly how apraxia therapy is usually structured, from easier consonant vowel combinations all the way to four syllable words.


What I really like, is that you can customize it for the child.  For example, they have consonant groups, but if your child can't produce one of them, you can go to settings and just choose the words you want your child to work on.  You can also add your own words and pictures to the rotation, which is also awesome.  My daughter has a tendency to drop medial 'n' and 'd.'  She really likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so I added pictures of Minnie and Toodles. Then you can record the name to correspond with the picture.  I also think this would be great if you wanted your child to practice family member names, pet names, etc.

Once in the farm house, you can practice the words.  A scoring system is set up above each child's picture to record data.  There is a record feature in the chimney to record and playback the child's production, and there are the avatars on the body of the barn to model appropriate production for a sound if needed.  After the activity, you can obtain a spreadsheet that collects the data with the option to email it.  I love this option as an SLP.


Finally, the last activity is the Words Farm, where you can choose 2-3 words to practice.  This is great for doing targeted blocked and/or randomized practice necessary when using a motor based approach to therapy.  This activity only allows one child, but again there is a record/play function, and you can take data that will be generated into a spreadsheet at the end of the activity.


What I Love:
- Has practice items on a syllable structure hierarchy used with apraxia therapy
- Can customize sound and syllable combinations to only include those in the child's repertoire
- Allows for adding your own additional pictures from your child's own life with ability to record
- Avatar's give visual and auditory cues with a camera feature so the child can immediately practice
- The second activity allows up to four players, which is helpful in group therapy
- Data collection feature that is automatically generated into a spreadsheet and can be emailed and/or shared electronically

What it's Missing
- Though the app is colorful and visually appealing to kids, there really isn't any game or reward to it.  It would be nice to have some fun reinforcement for practicing the words.

Overall impressions
Overall, I think this is a great app for young kids with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  I would recommend this application to parents and SLP's.

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3 Comments:

At June 11, 2013 at 9:43 PM , Blogger Sarah Dall said...

Excellent!!

 
At July 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Thank you for the app reviews! Would you recommend a child who has just turned 2 to use any of these apps? Thanks

 
At July 24, 2014 at 5:05 PM , Blogger Laura Smith said...

Hi Susan! It depends on their language level too. If they are minimally verbal in the early stages, I would go with speech stickers, but this is good too....it just doesn't have any motivators so the h old has to be willing to just practice :)

 

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