Talking Tom Cat Free App

March 30, 2011

Recently, I have been using this free app all the time during speech therapy sessions with children- very young and older.  Everyone ends up laughing- it’s a great way to entice a reluctant child to participate. They love Tom the cat and often come to our next session asking for it! It is extremely motivating for encouraging children to vocalize, working to improve breath support for speech, and practicing saying sounds. I’ve even had kids who are working on high level language skills try to give the cat directions on how to follow a difficult task and then have the cat repeat back each direction or tell back parts of a story and the child pretends they are the teacher:)

Children can touch the cat  and it purrs. One aspect of the app I did not like is that when children touched it too hard, the cat reacted as if it were being hit and I didn’t want to joke around about that. I was quite pleased to discover in the settings section that that the “violence” feature could be turned off. Users can also change the setting for a longer listening time and record the cat for up to 45 seconds and then post the video on YouTube or send it in an email. Children can also interact with the cat and offer it a drink. Younger ones often respond well when asked to teach the cat to count to 10.  It helps them remember to speak slowly in small chunks.  There are also a few other talking friends available:)

Here is the iTunes link for Apple app…Click Here
Here is the link to download the Droid app.. Click here

To learn more about my new book which highlights apps, software, websites and other cutting-edge technologies Click here

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Now Available!! The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education

March 26, 2011

My new book is now available which highlights effective resources for education, intervention and rehabilitation. It can be ordered from www.prufrock.com or www.amazon.com.

In this easy to read 250 page paperback book which sells for $39.95, I highlight interactive multi-sensory software, Apps, and cool new cutting edge devices that can be used to help improve speaking, understanding, reading, writing, executive functioning skills, learning and memory. All the info was updated just  before it went to press.  Technology changes fast, but this guide is a great way to get started learning more about the many ways powerful affordable technologies can maximize progress.  It’s great for individuals who are struggling as well as those who just want to benefit from all technology has to offer!

I wrote this book for families as well as professionals to help everyone zero in quickly on the tools and resources which can be used to improve communication, cognition and literacy.  I  provide a brief description and information about where to learn more about many wonderful products, strategies and websites for people of all ages who have speech and language related issues, are “twice exceptional”, “on the spectrum”, who have ” learning disabilities”,  who have been classified as “gifted” and who have had strokes,  head injuries or other illness  which may have caused a delay or disorder relating to speech, language or learning. Everyone has “special needs.” Differentiated instruction is the way to go in terms of maximizing the potential of each individual. Everyone has different learning styles, interests, strengths and weaknesses. Many parents, caregivers, therapists and educators realize that the use of technology is very motivating for young children, older students and adults, but they don’t know where to start in the search for the most appropriate technology tools for their situation.

This book features:

  • My favorite 45 Apple apps out of over 350,000 which are currently available from iTunes.com
  • Over 125 carefully selected software programs
  • More than 40 free online interactive websites

In addition to specific chapters focusing on technology and strategies to improve verbal expression, auditory comprehension, reading, writing, cognition, learning and memory, this guide includes information and resources about:

  • switch software
  • dedicated communication devices
  • voice amplifiers and a clarifier
  • accessible cell and landline phones
  • videoconferencing
  • captioning
  • assistive listening devices
  • text readers
  • word based talking word processors with assistive reading, writing and studying tools
  • picture based talking word processors
  • alternative book formats
  • adapted online newspapers
  • portable eBook readers
  • reading aloud handheld devices
  • word prediction programs
  • online dictionaries
  • graphic organizers
  • typing programs
  • voice recognition software
  • recording pen
  • digital calendars
  • time management tools
  • online document sharing
  • online flashcards
  • social bookmarking and annotation
  • online collaboration
  • adapted email
  • specialized search engines and web browsers
This book highlights a wide range of resources that are appropriate for children as well as adults who have a wide range of communication, cognitive and literacy challenges including aphasia and deteriorating illnesses even though the cover makes it appear that it is most appropriate for students.

To continue to be informed of new helpful affordable technologies as they become available free free to sign up for my free e-newsletter at www.innovativespeech.com. I am proud to say that there are approximately 7,000 other subscribers:)