Tag Archive: Apps

7 Apps for Adolescents with Special Needs

June 29, 2012 by - 1 Comment

7 Apps for Adolescents with Special Needs

We have ‘grown up’ with many of our students and their families.  We have learned from the students themselves, their parents, siblings, teachers, and their other SLP’s, OT’s, & ABA therapists. So when we recently met with a terrific mom and contemporary ABA therapist, we needed to speak about apps for adolescents (goals and activities had been discussed previously).  The student communicates and organizes herself through natural speech, the Dynavox Maestro, apps on the iTouch, & apps on the  iPad.  The student is now 16 and she cooks amazing food, hikes through the mountains of Switzerland, takes inventory for her school, types shopping lists, puts together scrapbooks, and does a lot more really cool things.  Here is the list of apps we recommended to support her favorite leisure &  literacy activities, and quest to be more & more independent. We only stopped giving more apps when ALL of us were... [Read More...]

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25 Under 5: AAC Apps

June 18, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

25 AAC Apps Under $5.00

We are now up to 72 Free or Lite version of AAC apps.  There is another emerging price point category of apps that are not quite free but fairly close.  We were so happy to find 25 apps under $5.oo.  These are all regular versions. All the same teaching and preparation is needed when choosing AAC apps, no shortcuts here, but deciding if you need an app for ‘small talk’ or telling stories or labeling may help make it easier to decide which AAC apps to try.  The RelAAAC rubric may help with these decisions after a feature match process is done.  After selecting the AAC app, then comes the fun part. You can be creative by setting up fun opportunities to communicate. Communication temptations can be set up for  requesting (putting favorite toys in a closed screw top jar) and  commenting (wearing really big fun hats/glasses). And don’t forget... [Read More...]

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72 Free & Lite Versions of AAC Apps

June 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

72 Free & Lite Versions of AAC Apps

There is a more recent version of this post and app list. Click HERE for the updated version. — Here is our most recent update of free and lite versions of AAC apps, including a dozen for the Android platform. As with the previous version, we’re including some additional resources and excerpts from previous posts related to AAC app selection. We’d also like to give a mention to the first draft of RELAAACs, our attempt to quantify some of what we look for when we try to compare AAC apps based on their language and communication features. —————————————————————————————————– Thanks to all who’ve given us great feedback and suggestions on our list of free and lite AAC apps. If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we have mixed feelings about the AAC app revolution. More specifically, we’ve had concerns about the decision-making process around app selection, and have advocated for that... [Read More...]

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Introducing RELAAACs: Rubric for Evaluating the Language of Apps for AAC

June 15, 2012 by - 13 Comments

Introducing RELAAACs: Rubric for Evaluating the Language of Apps for AAC

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin – SLPs everywhere are struggling with the game-changing explosion of AAC apps on mobile devices. We’ve mentioned our own internal conflict in previous posts and continue to mull over how best to integrate this into our work as clinical educators without jeopardizing the assessment and intervention principles that have served us so well over the years. We’ve really appreciated the fine work of professionals such as Jessica Gosnell at Boston Children’s Hospital, Scott Marfilius, and Kelly Fonner, and have put their feature match checklists to good use. As we did, we found that we wanted a more systematic way to consider the language and communication of the AAC apps that we were learning about. – This post introduces you to an early draft of RELAAACs: Rubric for Evaluating the... [Read More...]

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5 Charitable Programs that Support Funding for Communication through Mobile Devices

May 23, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Charitable Programs that Support Funding for Communication through Mobile Devices

– For some people with significant communication difficulties, mobile devices and AAC apps play an important role. When selected after a process of careful evaluation, they can be incredibly useful in building communication, literacy, self-regulation, and other important skills. Here are links to organizations that provide support to families seeking mobile devices and communication apps for their children. – 1. The iTaalk Autism Foundation 2. Babies with iPads 3. Apps for Children with Special Needs 4. Different Needz Foundation 5. Gift a Voice Program from Different Iz Good™: iPhones only –

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Magic Moments with Toca Store

May 21, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Magic Moments with Toca Store

It’s no coincidence that some of our favorite apps to use with AAC kids don’t rely on good receptive language in order to be successful and have fun. Count us among the fans of Toca Boca for their creative play-based apps with great graphics and lots of repetition with variety. In this post, we share some Magic Moments for using Toca Store as a communication-building experience.– 1. Core Word Practice: Lots of opportunities for practice with familiar nouns (e.g., banana, doll), common verbs (e.g., get, see, want) and modifiers (colors, some, little). 2. Negation: This is another fun app to use when teaching a child to use language appropriate for negation, protests, and rejection. We like teaching that under low stress conditions like this at first to build their skills. Once they get the hang of it, then we help them use it under more natural conditions. That way we can... [Read More...]

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AAC ASD App From the Ivory Tower

May 19, 2012 by - 1 Comment

AAC ASD App From the Ivory Tower

Today we pass the reins to Dr. Oliver Wendt from my alma mater, Purdue University. Purdue’s AAC program has made a great many contributions to the field and the tradition continues with the development of SpeakAll, an AAC app modelled after the PECS strategy. In this post, Dr. Wendt explains how a service-oriented project came to benefit so many individuals with significant communication difficulties. — – SpeakAll! An iPad App Addressing Particular Needs of Learners with Autism – An interdisciplinary team of Purdue University students from engineering, special education, and speech-language pathology has developed a simple and “lite” iPad app that takes into account the particular learning characteristics of beginning communicators with autism. This particular Purdue program is titled “Engineering Projects in Community Service” (EPICS). – The free app is called SpeakAll! and is available for download at the iTunes store here. SpeakAll! has been modeled after the Picture Exchange... [Read More...]

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Updated: 59 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

May 15, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Updated: 59 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

The content of this post has been updated. Click HERE for the most current version that includes Android apps and a link to our AAC app rubric. —– Thanks to all who’ve given us great feedback and suggestions on our list of free and lite AAC apps. If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we have mixed feelings about the AAC app revolution. More specifically, we’ve had concerns about the decision-making process around app selection, and have advocated for that to occur within the context of a feature match process that gives appropriate attention to the full range of AAC options. In our digital curation sites, we link to tools we use for this process, such as the feature match forms developed by Jessica Gosnell at Boston Children’s and the ones created by Scott Marfilius and Kelly Fonner. In our own teaching and clinical work, when AAC apps... [Read More...]

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59 Free and Lite AAC Apps

May 6, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

59 Free and Lite AAC Apps

– The content of this post has been updated. Click HERE for the most current version that includes Android apps and a link to our AAC app rubric. – The AAC app market is growing faster than any of us could have imagined even a few months ago.  Here is our current list of AAC apps that are offered free or in lite versions. Thanks to Jane Farrall for the heads-up about some of the most recent additions. AlexiCom AAC Answers: Yes/No Free Augie Free (Free version not currently available in US) Autism 5-Point Scale EP (Autism Help) Com App Comunicador Personal Adaptable(Spanish) Communicate Mate Female: NEW Communicate Mate Male: NEW Connect Cards:NEW DIME Lite FreeSpeech: NEW Functional Communication System Lite: NEW Gabby Tabs Lite: NEW Grid Player     iBlissymbols Lite iComm Education iPhonic Lite iPicto Lite Locabulary Lite MetaTalk Lite My Choice Pad Lite: NEW My Talking Phone MyTalk Tools Neo Julie... [Read More...]

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10 Interesting Resources for Learning to Sign

April 27, 2012 by - 1 Comment

10 Interesting Resources for Learning to Sign

1. My Smart Hands has resources on their website and also a sign dictionary app. (There’s a Lite version, too.) 2. Sign to Talk: ASL signs (150 nouns and 40 verbs) 3. ASL Dictionary: Over 4800 ASL signs 4. Sign 4 Me: Translates from English to Signed English, ASL 5. iASL: Conversion from English to ASL 6. ASL Lite: Free Android app with 100 ASL signs 7. iSign: 800+ ASL phrases 8. Signing Time Lite: Free flashcard-type app for teaching signs to young children 9. Sign Me a Story: Signed stories for little kids 10. Baby Sign and Learn: Free app for teaching signs to young children. Choose from various sign languages:  American Sign Language (ASL), Australian Sign Language (Auslan), British Sign Language (BSL), Hong Kong Sign Language (HKSL) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).   – –

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