I spend a great deal of time trying out new Apple apps- and currently have over 900. It’s hard to believe that iTunes currently features over 425,000 apps. There are very few apps which are created specifically to help adults who have aphasia. Tactus Therapy Solutions has recently released two which are wonderful! I find myself using them daily in therapy with adults as well as children who have a wide variety of language and learning challenges. They are a great extension to traditional speech therapy techniques and make it much easier for families to practice at home with guidance about the most appropriate way to configure the apps. They each cost $24.99 and are well worth it!
This app is very helpful for children and adults who have word retrieval challenges.
- The home screen presents four modes: Naming Practice, Describe, Naming Test, and Flashcards.
- In the upper right corner is the Settings button which will allow you to choose your desired number of trials, the email address to which you want results to be sent, and the Child-Friendly toggle button which takes out pictures that contain alcohol, violence, and adult themes.
- The upper left corner holds the Info button and contains the basic instructions the user needs in order to use the app. So far I find myself using the “naming practice” mode the most.
- This app includes over 400 high quality pictured nouns with a flexible cueing hierarchy and optional scoring.
- The nouns are divided into 10 categories and one or more can be selected for targeted practice.
- The voice output is a high quality male voice with a neutral accent in slow natural speech to facilitate comprehension.
- Scoring allows a therapist or partner to indicate when the word is correct or incorrect. The app records which cue was used to get the correct answers and produces a score report for email.
Naming Practice Cueing Hierarchy:
Description: plays a short definition and works as a semantic cue
First Letter: shows the first letter of the target word
Whole Word/Written Word cue: shows the complete written word above the picture
Phrase completion: plays a phrase that the client can complete by supplying the target word
First Sound/Phonemic cue: plays the first sound of the target word
Repetition: plays the entire spoke word for the client to repeat
Describe Cueing Hierarchy
This activity includes over 460 pictures with 4-6 question prompts, with each prompt programmed to be appropriate to the picture currently being shown. The Describe Mode offers questions based on semantic properties such as location, function, smell, color, texture, appearance, shape, size, person, time, sound, taste, sound, category, and association.
I find that I am using Comprehension TherAppy daily with adults and children who have aphasia, auditory processing issues and a variety of attention and cognitive challenges. The pictures and voice are very high quality and there are many ways that this app can be configured to work toward goals. Many nouns are initially includes and expansion packs can be purchased with verbs and adjectives.
There are 3 modes:
- “Listen“: match an auditory stimulus (spoken word) to a picture
- “Read“: match a written stimulus (printed word) to a picture
- “Listen & Read“: match an auditory stimulus (spoken word) to a written word
- 10 categories of nouns are available including animals, foods, objects, concepts, places, people, body parts and more. Specific categories can be selected.
- Users are able to determine the number of photos on the screen (2-6) or the “Auto” feature can be selected to automatically adjust the field size based on performance
- There are 3 levels of difficulty which adjust the relatedness of foils (semantic and phonemic) to move from Easy to Hard
- Automatic scoring tracks success and progress on-screen
I look forward to new releases in the near future for Tactus Therapy Solutions. Writing TherAppy will soon be available.
To learn about other ways technology can be used to help adults or children who have a wide range of communication, cognitive, literacy and learning challenges – check out my website at www.innovativespeech.com, contact me at Joan@innovativespeech.com or buy my newest book titled The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education which is full of info about computer software, iPad apps and other tools and strategies which are helpful for improving speaking, understanding, reading, writing and thinking for adults as well as children.