Sunday, April 26, 2015

I Can Have Conversations With You {app review}

I am always looking for new ways to target social skills and pragmatics.  I was recently contacted about a new app called I Can Have Conversations With You!  This app is specifically designed for those students with autism, PDD, Asperger's syndrome, or social communication disorder.  IT is for students who are 6 years or older, able to read, able to use the iPad, and can speak in sentences.  Check it out with me!

Let's talk a little bit about the features of this app. This app features video modeling of conversations, interactive cues, a "role play" aspect using the child's voice, hundreds of conversational exchanges, and custom progress reports complete with strengths and areas of improvement.

Check out this video for a tour of the app:

The students will work through modules like the one below.  First, they will complete the activity receptively.  They answer multiple choice and yes/no questions.  At the end, they will do an SLP-led role-play and complete an expressive activity.  They will fill in what they think the answer should be.

Throughout the module, Karen comes on the screen to give some positive reinforcement.

Here's the menu for SLPs.  You have options to re-watch the greeting, create an assessment, view the results for the student, purchase more modules, and more!

Here's what I love about this app:
This app has a lot of different scenarios.  These scenarios are relevant to my students' everyday lives, which makes this app very practical for them.  You can create an assessment for the student within the app.  The app also creates detailed reports for you.  I really like that the app gives you recommendations on the next step and gives strengths and weaknesses.  Finally ,this is a good app to suggest to parents for students to practice at home.

What I would love in future updates:
The app is designed for a single player right now.  I would love to see a way for it to be multi-player and track data for multiple students.   I would also like for it to show data at every step, not just at the end of a module.

Interested in this app?  You can purchase it on the app store for $29.99!

Note:  A copy of this app was provided for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine.  

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Everyday Speech Social Skills Videos {product review + giveaway}

Are you familiar with Everyday Speech?  They created the apps called Let's Be Social, Let's Learn Emotions, and Let's Use Language!  They have had so much success with the videos included included in the Let's Be Social app, that they decided to make more.  I was so excited when they told me about this because these are PERFECT for my students!   Check them out below:

Everyday Speech is selling these videos as a stand alone package.  You can buy them individually, in bundles, or subscribe for full access!  You will be able to watch these videos from a computer or tablet.  You will also be able to stream them or download them for later use.

Here is the list of videos that they plan to include in this package:

These videos use real kids and discuss real life scenarios!  There are options for younger kids and older kids.  Here's some sneak peeks of what the videos may include.

These videos are such a fabulous resource.  I am so thankful for them.  As I mentioned, they are perfect for a couple of my students.  They correlate perfectly to the students' IEP goals!  This videos are also short--about 2 minutes on average.  Here's an example of a video:

Here's the amazing part:  Everyday Speech is giving away TWO free packages to Home Sweet Speech Room readers!  All you have to do is sign up for their waiting list!

For the site that has the most people sign up for the waiting list, they are giving EVERYONE who signed up through that site a free package.  WOW!!  

Wait...there's more.  Everyone who signs up for the waiting list with the link below will also get 50% off the package if you do not win a free one!  Isn't that amazing?

In summary, signing up for the waitlist will get you these things:
-50% off the video package price
-An entry to win one of two free packages for Home Sweet Speech Room readers
-If we have the most people sign up, everyone who signed up on here gets a free package!

So sign up HERE!

Once you do that, tell me what you think! I'd love to hear it!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Guest Post at Speech to the Core

Today, I'm writing about a day in my life over at Speech to the Core!   I would love for you to go check it out.  Here's a sneak peek:  

Happy Monday!

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Power Books: Conversation {product review}

I recently had the opportunity to check out this new product from Turning Points Media,  Power Books: Conversation.  Read about them below!

Description (straight from Turning Points Media's website):
"Power Books: Conversation is a resource of lesson plans and materials for teaching basic conversational skills to children with high functioning autism or social communication disorder. This is a downloadable product that comes with a pdf file for the book and also two audio files: The "Conversation Song" and an instrumental version."

These lessons were created by Joe Rothstein, who is an SLP in California.  He basis his work on current research, which is so so so important these days!

The book includes lessons for the following areas:
-whole body listening (body positioning and using you eyes)
-staying on topic (reciprocal statements and asking questions)
-expanding topics
-talking too much
-background/ context

Each lesson in the program includes the following elements:
-direct instruction
-guided practice
-independent practice
-redirection cues

Here's an example of a lesson:

Other pages in the book include supplemental pictures to go along with each lesson, such as these conversation starters or emotions images.

Also included in this download is the conversation song and lyrics for those songs! Check out a clip of the song here:

Here's what I love about Power Books: Conversation:
-I love that it's research based!  This is so so so important. 
-I like the different levels of instruction/practice for the students.  
-I like that there are included multiple lessons under each topic.
-I like the songs!  My students love music, so this was a fun way to add to their learning. 
-I like how easy it would be to prepare these lessons. It's all laid out for you.
-I like that, even though they are laid out for you, you can adapt them to your students' needs.

If there's one thing that I would like to see in future updates, it would be real photos for the emotions.  The illustrations used are not terrible, by any means.  Sometimes my students with autism have difficulty with illustrations and benefit from real images.  Just a personal preference and a suggestion based on what works for my students.

If you're interested in this book, you can purchase it from Turning Points Media here!  They are listed for $10.00 each and contain a digital download of the book and recordings of the Conversation Song!

What do you think?  Would you use these in your speech room?

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Simplified Speech Therapy Planner

Today is the day!!  The Simplified Speech Therapy Planner has officially been released!! 

Looking for a planner specifically designed for speech-language pathologists? Need help planning speech therapy sessions? This is perfect for you! 

This planner is designed specifically for busy speech-language pathologists. With this planner, you can plan more, save ink, and stay organized. It's simple design allows for you to have a stylish planner while not spending fortunes on ink when printing it. 

The following sections are included:
-6 cover options (2 black and white, 4 color)
-2-page Monthly Spreads
-Year at a Glance
-Due This Month
-To-do List
-Dashboard (with to-do, to-call, to-prep lists)
-Meeting Notes
-Progress Reports
-Blank Checklist
-Screening List
-Referral List
-Weekly Planning Pages
-Month at a Glance Page
-CEU Tracker
-Password Page

To see a preview of this planner, check out this video: 

I hope you love this and that it helps to make your planning simple and stylish! 

If you would like to purchase this product, you can find it in my TeachersPayTeachers store!  It is discounted at 40% off for a limited time!

Now for a giveaway!  I would love to give a copy of this to TWO lucky winners!! Enter the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, March 30, 2015

SPEAKall! {app review}

As I may or may not have told you, I had an AAC internship in graduate school.  I loved it!  One of the big discussions we had was tablet technology versus speech generating devices (or devices created specifically for AAC).  I was excited when I was contacted by SPEAK MODalities about a new AAC app to check out.

Watch this video:

A great place to start is the extensive user manual.  It walks you through every part of the app and how it works!

One thing I like about this app is that it's designed to help move the AAC world towards tablets.  More specifically, it's designed to help a student move from PECS to the tablet.

This app is focused on sentence formation.  The student will simply touch the word/ symbol they want, and it appears at the bottom in the blue box.  When the sentence is formed, touch the "SPEAKall" button to the right, and the app will say the sentence.

Editing in this app is pretty straightforward.  You can edit the page set or each individual symbol. It comes preloaded with symbols in each page set, but you can add other symbol to a given set in order to customize it to your student.  

You can also edit the individual symbol.  You can record your own audio for it, adjust the image size, change the label for that symbol, and determine which media collection the image will go under.  You can also make notes under "Media Item Notes."

Bottom line, this is a great AAC app.  It's user friendly and easy to customize for the individual using it.  It's backed by research out of Purdue University (you can read more about it here).  I appreciate the simplicity of the app and that it is not overwhelming and does not create a sensory overload for our students.  I really like being able to add my own pictures, which allows for further customization. It's an affordable, intuitive option that I think many students with autism or developmental disabilities will benefit from.

Note: A copy of the app was provided for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine.  

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