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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: Vowel Viz Schools App Review and Giveaway!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vowel Viz Schools App Review and Giveaway!!

The people over at Complete Speech and Michelle over at Trust Me, I'm a Mom and myself all teamed up to offer you a great giveaway for the visual feedback app VowelViz!   I was not paid to review the app and am only offering my personal opinion not only as a mother with a child who has a speech delay, but also as an SLP who works with kids.

I was really excited about VowelViz because I love visual feedback to aid in therapy. The price for this type of programming has typically been very expensive, but since tablets have made many more things easily accessible, the people at Complete Speech created a quality and affordable app that provides visual feedback for vowels and the vocalic R sound. 

The company has offered great video tutorials to start using the app as well.   They are available at:

http://completespeech.ning.com/tips-main


The first thing you must do before using this app is go to settings (seen below) and play with the mic sensitivity.  Even though I watched the video tutorial, I failed to do this initially and I would have saved myself a lot of time had I remembered this step.


Once the mic sensitivity is adjusted, you can begin using the application.  You can also adjust the vowel tail lengths and choose varying themes.  If you are an SLP, the picture above probably brings you back to your grad school days learning the vowel quadrilateral.  We don't often reference the quadrilateral, but this is a great visual reminder of where vowels are produced in the mouth. Quadrants within the vowel quadrilateral act as relative targets and help users orient themselves to where in the mouth they should be producing the vowel. According to the website, "Learners are also able to see how their vowels compare with the researched averages of others."  Personally, I wasn't always exactly on the target; however, my clients and I did at least manage to hit within the range that is highlighted around each vowel.  (seen below)














If you upgrade to VowelViz schools, there are options to vary the themes and add flash cards, which is nice.  These simple upgrades make the app more fun and visually appealing.



My daughter and my 1st grade clients with R goals loved using Vowel Viz!  They loved seeing a visual representation of their voice and trying to move the ball into the target range.  I can see this being a great, practical tool to supplement therapy and/or provide great practice for correct production of vowels and the vocalic R. 

For Childhood Apraxia of Speech, vowel inconsistencies are a common characteristic.  Vowel distortions make a child extremely unintelligible.  Unfortunately, vowels and the R sound are difficult to teach because there is not a specific explanation for what to do with the tongue and other articulators in the mouth to make the sound correctly.  A visual feedback tool like Vowel Viz would be helpful for the client to visually see what the tongue is doing in the mouth.

What I don't love:  Though the company offers incredible videos on how to use their app, I was still initially challenged to figure out the right configuration so the app would work correctly and accurately.  However, once I adjusted the mic sensitivity and played around with it more, I really started to get the hang of it and feel it can be a valuable tool at home and in therapy.
What I love: I would definitely recommend upgrading to the VowelViz schools to get the full perks the app has to offer.  The change in themes are fun, and the flashcards are nice to have so accessible being within the app.  The vowel quadrilateral as a general frame provides another good visual feedback tool to help explain to clients what the tongue is doing in the mouth when making the vowels, and just having an affordable visual feedback tool is amazing.  I really look forward to more apps from this company, because visual feedback is so powerful in therapy.

To enter to win this great app, click on the link below!!  Like SLPmommyofApraxia on Facebook through the link below for easy entry!   Raffle closes May 12th at Midnight.  Winners will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to claim the prize, or it will be awarded to someone else! Good luck!!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

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