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 . I publish my blogs there as well as here. Hope you'll all take a peek at it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Not Your Typical First Words App

Zot ReinforcementsTitle screenSupported training

Laureate First Words: A couple of years back I worked with a seven-year-old autistic nonverbal child. His receptive skills were limited to being able to point to a few common items consistently. I pulled out all the stops trying to move this child forward. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in making an small difference in his communication skills. At the time, I tried various iPad apps in my extensive arsenal. The child enjoyed swiping the pictures, but it never turned into a learning experience of the kind I intended.

Laureate First Words is an app that has the potential to help severely impaired autistic children like the child above and others with severe deficits in receptive vocabulary. The app focuses on a basic receptive vocabulary of 50 early developmental words. There are five levels of difficulty. Also available are pre and post-tests.

This app uses what Laureate Learning Systems calls Optimized Intervention. According to the developer, OI "Monitors progress and automatically adjusts the instructional level of support for each word." The automatic adjustment makes this an app that can be used independently. If the user's response is incorrect, the app makes the task easier. There is no wiggle room for the user to randomly tap on any picture. He will not move forward. The app will continue to present the word until the correct picture is selected. The word will remain a part of the child's individualized program until the user has demonstrated mastery through consistently correct identifications.

I like the animations that are included in the app. The animations reinforce the vocabulary and are fun to watch. Children and adults will enjoy it.

The app offers a database and the ability to turn on or off many features such as the written word, animation, and verbal praise. When inputting the name of the student, there is also a box for writing in any other information one wishes. The app tracks data from each session and provides cumulative data on a student's performance as well as single word data. Laureate will soon be updating the app to include printing and email options.

For those of us who work with individuals with severe deficits in basic vocabulary, this app is well worth the price.
Ages: 2-adult
Rating: +++++
Developer website:
Cost: $9.99

Saturday, July 27, 2013

App for Apraxia


Speech Therapy for Apraxia: In order for me to recommend a therapy app, I need to feel that it can simplify the life of the therapist and will be a fun learning experience for children. Unfortunately, Speech Therapy for Apraxia fulfills neither of these requirements.

This app was developed by the Blue Whale Apps and the National Association for Child Development. It offers motor planning exercises based on sound group and level of difficulty. The consonant sounds are grouped as follows: b p m, d n t, g k h, w, f v, s z, sh ch j, and  l r. There are eight levels of difficulty. All levels work with CV structures only. Level 1 presents one syllable at a time, Level 2 presents three repetitions of a syllable, Level 3 requires five repetitions of the same syllable, Level 4 targets fours repetitions of the same syllable then a vowel change for the fifth CV syllable. Level 5 contains two syllables with the same consonant but different vowels, the vowels in the CV syllables change for Level 6 but the consonants remain the same and the syllables are presented in random order. Level 7 has CV syllables with differing vowels and consonants, but the consonants are from the consonant group targeted. Level 8 offers a random combination of the syllables in Level 7, but the user must have worked through two consonant groups in order to work at this level.

The app provides pictures or the written word (example "luh") for each syllable. But I am not sure that is necessarily good. For me, the picture is a visual aid that may make the task easier. The CV syllables can be heard by tapping on the pictures.

The tasks involved in this app are so simple that one does not need an app for them. The therapist can simply ask the client to repeat a syllable any number of times she desires. Changing the vowel in a CV syllable, randomizing syllables, and changing consonants for the client to repeat can easily be done  spontaneously by the therapist at each level.  The app offers no animation, interactivity, rewards, database, scoring or recording/playback features.

Ages: 3 to adult
Rating: +
Developer website: and
Costs: $4.99 
Availability: iPad, iOS and Android.