Friday, March 28, 2014

DrawMD is Free and Fascinating

Speech-Language Pathology
DrawMD Speech Pathology: by Virtual Health, Inc.
I received a request to review Draw MD and it did not take long for me to be impressed with it, especially with its clear and realistic drawings. I rarely used medical drawings in my practice because, well, they were not at my fingertips. Now they are. I love the setup of the app and its ease of navigation. E devices were made for apps like this one.

The home page of this app offers life-like shots of the head, oral cavity, larynx, hard/soft palate, thoracic area and the left brain. One can add to this selection by using a photo from one's library. There is also the option of taking a photograph with one's iPad. Each of the app's life-like shots has affiliated images that are within the Stamps category at the bottom of the screen. Tap on Stamps and a different options appear. For instance, the Stamps for the Head shot are: laryngectomy, sagittal, cutaway sagittal no tongue, tonsillectomy, anterior tongue, palatal tongue, posterior sagittal tongue, tongue protruded, adenoid hypertrophy, and tracheostomy. These images are viewed on a screen that overlays the main image of the head. To the left of the overlay screen is a search button. Tap on it and one can browse the related condition, procedure or anatomy by tapping on one of these categories. Thus, if I tap on Condition the subcategories of adenoid, adenoid hypertrophy, cancer, chronic rhinitis, hypertrophy, laryngeal, sleep apnea, snoring and tonsillitis appear. Tap on any of these and a picture of adenoid hypertrophy opens. Then tap on adenoid hypertrophy and the location on the original head image near the ear is indicated with arrows. Tap on this zone, the arrows disappear and an image of the disorder is left.

The fun does not end with the above. This app allows one to type in one's own descriptions, draw or write on images, select normal, bold, or italic font, font size and color. Stamps can be scaled, rotated, brought forward or sent backward. And drawings can be saved and shared.

This app is perfect for voice therapy. I could also see using some of the pictures for articulation therapy. Perhaps there are middle and high school students who would like viewing the pictures with question and commentary follow-up. 

Among the other DrawMD apps speech paths might be interested in are ENT and pediatrics.
Ages: 6-adult
Rating:+++++
Developer's Website: www.drawmd.com
Cost: Free

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pre-publication Price Discount Ends Soon














The books are on their way! I should receive them by Friday 3/14.

Now is a good time to get the $9.99 pre-publication discount before it ends on 3/17/14 when it will sell for $12.99. Join the many others who have pre-ordered! The book can pre-ordered at www.helpmetalkright.com

Excerpted from Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do by Mirla G. Raz:
It is natural for parents to want to directly help their child when they hear him stutter. They do so with the best of intentions. In their attempts to help their child, they may give him advice or ask him to do what they believe will help. However, the advice they give can be counterproductive. Advice can make the child more self-conscious and upset with himself for being disfluent. Advice can frustrate the child when the advice does not help and yet the parent believes it will. Numerous adults who stutter have told me that they believe the advice their parents gave them, when they were children, did more harm than good. The advice made them more self-conscious and inhibited. The list, on the following pages, highlights common advice that should be avoided, why the advice should be avoided, and replacement actions the parents can implement that will be more beneficial.

Table of Contents:

Chapter One:Understanding Stuttering
Introduction
In A Nutshell 
Is The Child Stuttering, Stammering or Is This Just Normal
Preschool Speech?
Demystifying Stuttering 
What Causes Stuttering 
Facts about Stuttering 

Chapter Two: Viewpoints and Reactions
How Others View Children Who Stutter 
How Children Who Stutter View Themselves
Different Ways Children React to Their Disfluent Speech
What Children Do When They Stutter 

Chapter Three: Stuttering and Emotions
The Emotions of Parents 
Taking the Time to Understand the Child Who Stutters 
Helping the Child Who Stutters 
How Emotions Affect the Child’s Fluency
How Parents Can Help Their Child

Chapter Four: Different Environments, Events, and People
The Home 
Preschool and Daycare
Events That Can Affect Fluency 
Help Others Help the Child

Chapter Five: Professional Help
Intervention May Be Needed 
Paying for Therapy and Health Insurance
What to Expect When Seeking Professional Help

Chapter Six: Questions and Answers
Common Concerns and Questions 

Information Records 

Charts

Further Reading

Bibliography 

Index 

Acknowledgments 

About the Author 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do, Excerpt and TOC















Don't forget to take advantage of the pre-publication savings. Order the book now for $9.99 at www.helpmetalkright.com

Excerpted from Help Me Talk Right:
Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do by Mirla G. Raz.
It is natural for parents to want to directly help their child when they hear him stutter. They do so with the best of intentions. In their attempts to help their child, they may give him advice or ask him to do what they believe will help. However, the advice they give can be counterproductive. Advice can make the child more self-conscious and upset with himself for being disfluent. Advice can frustrate the child when the advice does not help and yet the parent believes it will. Numerous adults who stutter have told me that they believe the advice their parents gave them, when they were children, did more harm than good. The advice made them more self-conscious and inhibited. The list, on the following pages, highlights common advice that should be avoided, why the advice should be avoided, and replacement actions the parents can implement that will be more beneficial.

Table of Contents:

Chapter One:Understanding Stuttering
Introduction
In A Nutshell 
Is The Child Stuttering, Stammering or Is This Just Normal
Preschool Speech?
Demystifying Stuttering 
What Causes Stuttering 
Facts about Stuttering 

Chapter Two: Viewpoints and Reactions
How Others View Children Who Stutter 
How Children Who Stutter View Themselves
Different Ways Children React to Their Disfluent Speech 
What Children Do When They Stutter 

Chapter Three: Stuttering and Emotions
The Emotions of Parents 
Taking the Time to Understand the Child Who Stutters 
Helping the Child Who Stutters 
How Emotions Affect the Child’s Fluency
How Parents Can Help Their Child

Chapter Four: Different Environments, Events, and People
The Home 
Preschool and Daycare
Events That Can Affect Fluency 
Help Others Help the Child

Chapter Five: Professional Help
Intervention May Be Needed 
Paying for Therapy and Health Insurance
What to Expect When Seeking Professional Help

Chapter Six: Questions and Answers
Common Concerns and Questions  

Information Records 

Charts

Further Reading

Bibliography 

Index 

Acknowledgments 

About the Author 



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Getting Children to Converse---Absurdities


I have decided to deviate from strictly reviewing apps for speech and expand into therapy techniques I have accumulated over the years. In this post, I will be suggesting using absurdities to elicit conversation.

I suppose one can make one's own pictures. But since I am not the creative, crafty or artistic type, I rely on the pictures and books of others that depict absurd phenomenon. The pictures I use are put out by Academic Communication Associates and are called "Impossible Situations." The pictures are large black and white drawings wherein the absurdity is unmistakable such as a man with a lightbulb for a nose. The book Whacky Wednesday, by Theo. LeSieg, shows silly phenomena in the day of a child. As soon as he wakes up, the boy sees that something is not right in his room. The absurdities grow in number as he goes through his day. Children as young as three enjoy pointing out what in the scenes is ridiculous and explaining why. For children six or older, the Emilia Bedilia books challenge them to recognize more subtly absurd events in the nonsensical things Emilia Bedilia does when working.

Absurdities also empower intellectual skills. In order to recognize an absurdity, the child needs to have created a mental image of what is correct or acceptable in his/her world. The child then needs to express this knowledge into language that conveys the information. Some children, such as those on the spectrum, may be challenged by the task. With these children, I make the task easier by pointing out the absurdity. Together we discuss what is silly about the picture.

I like to use absurdities when the child is in the conversational stage of learning a new sound or grammatical component.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Verb Fun Home Run





                                                                    
                                                                      
Before I review Fun with Verbs and Sentences I would like to update you on Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do.  It is now with the typesetter. I have done quite a bit of revising so hopefully the most recent is the last.

Fun with Verbs and Sentences: by Patti Hamaguchi. When I review apps, I look for its ease of overall use, the way it approaches therapy for its targeted area, how it meets the goal, the fun and interest value for children, the level of interactivity and the usefulness for the speech pathologist or how much easier it makes our lives. This one is another Hamaguchi home run.

Fun with Verbs and Sentences focuses on the present progressive “is” and regular and irregular past tenses that can be learned and practiced at three levels, called sentence types: verbs only, subject + verb, subject + verb + object, subject + verb + prepositional phrase or random selection of all the preceding. One also is offered the subject choices of pronouns he/she or nouns.

To play, the child selects the “who,” by tapping one of three characters, a boy, girl or bear, to demonstrate the actions. Next, the child selects one of three actions displayed. If the subject + verb + object or subject + verb + prepositional phrase sentence types was chosen the child chooses one of three objects or places. For each selection tapped, the narrator names the word. Each who, what and where selection then drops to the bottom of the screen and is embedded in a colored circle. These circles can be used as reinforcement later. On the next screen the student's selections come together to demonstrate the verb. At the bottom of the animation screen are the three colored circles. Tap once on a circle on the bottom of the screen and the embedded icon reappears. Tap again and the narrator names the picture. A secondary learning experience occurs for who and what comprehension. When the narrator asks the child to select the who, and what she says, “Who will be in it,” “What do you want the ____to do?” The pictures and animations for this app are excellent. The opportunity for the child to use the verbs occurs when student taps the microphone to record her sentence.

One might wonder, as I did, how well the animations portray the present, on-going movement, versus the past, a completed action, for the same verb. I was pleased to see the app handle this well. The animation for the present tense repeats itself until the Done button is tapped. The animation for the past tense occurs only once.

Data collection takes place when the child records her phrase.  To the left of the animation are three egg shaped colors. The top contains the word Subject, the second the word Verb and the third, “Prep. Phrase.” The adult taps the part of speech correctly said by the child. The score is shown below the shape as the number correct out of the number presented and in percentage. At the bottom is the “Overall Sentence Score.” The database for this app allows for 75 users to be tracked, individually or as part of a group.

The Settings screen allows one to select the Activities (Build a Sentence + Animation) or Watch & Say (recording page only) and if the activity automatically or manually moves to the next screen, Sentence Type), Track Progress, Verbs, the type of Cueing (visual or support and/or narration) and the frequency of the reward called the Bubble Game (the child taps bubbles until he/she finds a prize). One can turn text, recording and narration on or off as well. One can customize the verbs to be presented. However, Ms. Hamaguchi explained, “There needs to be at least three selected if you are in the ‘Build a Sentence’ mode because that is how the game is played. If you go into the other activity, there is no constraint in terms of having a minimum of choices and it will show whichever ones you want to practice. So if you want to show animations of  'paint,' select 'paint' and you can practice that—past or present tense. That is the customization.” The presentation of one or two verbs, comes with a fun animation of subjects demonstrating the action.

The narration is excellent for the most part. However, when the narrator said the sentence in its entirety, after clearly naming each picture associated with the circle, it was said quickly and at times was a bit garbled. Sometimes the verb was modeled using the whole word “is” and sometimes in the contracted form. This could be problematic for a child having difficulty with verb construction.

There are 39 verbs offered in this app as well as 266 well-done animations.
Ages: 2-5
Rating: +++++
Developer's website: www.hamaguchiapps.com
Cost: $15.99, $.99 for the Lite Version

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Preschool Stuttering---my latest Help Me Talk Right book














I know that I have been a bit lax in my app reviews lately. The reason is that I am getting ready to publish my 4th Help Me Talk Right book, Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do. It is written and with the typesetter. Once it is typeset, it will be off to the printer. The publication date is February, 2014.

The book will be available in paperback and ebook. The paperback edition will be $12.99 and the ebook $9.99. Here is a brief synopsis:

When parents first hear their child stutter, they may feel scared and helpless. They may wonder what they can do to help him so that he does not grow up stuttering.  Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do gives parents the keys to opening the doors that will help them help their child. The book explains the following and more:

-what happens when a child stutters
- stuttering facts 
-the role of emotions in stuttering
- the emotions and roles of the parents
-what can cause the child’s stutter to be better or worse
- the impact of the child’s environment
-what parents can do if they want to help their child stop stuttering
-when and where to seek professional help
-what to expect when seeking professional help

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Help Me Talk Right Website

I would like to announce the revamped version of my website. The new address is www.helpmetalkright.com . I publish my blogs there as well as here. Hope you'll all take a peek at it.