Sound/Music Cause and Effect Apps for Engaging AAC Learners

May 11, 2015 by - 3 Comments

Sound/Music Cause and Effect Apps for Engaging AAC Learners
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AAC clinicians are a creative bunch. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit some colleagues and was excited to see how they are repurposing free/low cost apps to build engagement and interaction in learners with significant communication challenges. Many of us work with learners who are highly motivated by mobile devices and apps that make music or sound, but still have a way to go to build their skills in using them. For some, we find that using apps that are relatively simple and easy (both motorically and cognitively), can spice up a session.

Here are some sound/music cause and effect apps to explore. Of course, these apps are intended for a purpose completely different than how we are using them in therapy. Nonetheless, kids love them and that means that we SLPs can get a lot of mileage out of using apps like these in our therapy sessions.

 Sound/Music Cause and Effect Apps for Engaging AAC Learners

We’ve used apps like these for beginning communicators to:

  1. Build motor skills to tap and swipe
  2. Create communication opportunities for requesting, commenting, and showing off
  3. Develop core vocabulary (e.g., I, you, it, go, stop, more, big, not)

With AAC learners who have more advanced language skills, we’ve used them to:

  • Build lexical diversity (e.g., alternatives to good/bad)
  • Develop sentences with causality (e.g., I like it because…)
  • Make predictions (e.g., I think it will…)
  • Retell a personal narrative (e.g., Melissa and I played on the iPad. We had fun with apps that make sounds and music. I got to pick one to play with and I chose…)
  • Build conversational skills (e.g., Can I tell you about this app I love? It’s called…Have you ever heard about it? It’s fun because you can…)

Do you have interesting ways of using AAC apps in your therapy or teaching? We’d love to have you comment and share those ideas

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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Alison says:

    I have been using Sago Mini apps for Cause and Effect.

    This one is great for learning to move forward (press on the right to move right, press the left and you stay still). The faster you tap the faster the music will play.
    Sago Mini Music Box by Sago Sago

    This one is great for tapping to create a ball but then you need to press and hold the ball to make a character appear. You can choose 9 different types of music you want.
    Sago Mini Sound Box by Sago Sago

  • Kristin Simmons says:

    Anyone an android user? I would like to recommend something like this to a parent who only has android products. Her child is nonverbal and VI.

  • Aisling Nolan says:

    I would also really appreciate any suggestions for cause and effect apps for an android user. The child I support has a severe intellectual disability.
    Thanks very much

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