Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spch Lang {website review}

Usually I do app reviews, but I was particularly excited when I was asked to review a WEBSITE, since not everyone has access to iPads, other tablets, or smartphones!   Today, I want to introduce you to spchlang.com. There are affiliate links in this post for your convenience.

I was initially intrigued by this site because it is NOT geared toward speech-language pathologists.  It is actually meant for parents.  I wanted to see what it was all about.  Here's a bit from the website that states what their purpose is:

Spch Lang is a revolutionary early learning system designed to help parents stimulate their child's speech. Our lessons incorporate the best of current teaching methods, making it possible for every parent to be a successful teacher.
Using our simple and easy to understand tools, parents can give their child the best possible start in life. Spch Lang focuses on teaching one, two and three word sentence patterns while providing parents with easy access to simple and detailed notes, games and fun at-home activities and exercises.

There are A LOT of activities, games, and resources on this site, so bear with me!  I want to give you a comprehensive overview of it.

A blog is featured on the website.  Some of the headlines include "Teach Your Toddler To Talk: "Is My Child Stimulable?"", "Should I Read to My Child if She Isn't Talking?", and "Say S for Success."  One of the articles says: "Since I am not a Speech Pathologist I have had to learn these things through reading/research, trial and error."  This same article talks about stimulability, segmentation, modeling, etc.  Yes, these are all things that SLPs do.  I just think it's important that parents always consult an SLP, ESPECIALLY if there are any concerns about speech and language.  That's what their job is. Plus, SLPs will know the research.  There is actually no mention about consulting SLPs anywhere on the site actually.  I would STRONGLY suggest that be changed.  

Ok onto the fun stuff.   With a paid membership, you have access to what is called the Control Panel.  It's a nice, central way to organize everything on the site.  Just click through the tabs to see all of the materials under each one.  Here are a few pictures for you, just to give you an idea of what it looks like.

There are more options with a paid membership, but one of the free ones is this one: Speech Practice. Scroll through the pictures, have the child say each word. Pretty straightforward right? What is also cool about this is that you can record the child saying it and play it back for them.  Be sure to model for the child if they need it.  There is no way to take data on the site, so you'll need pen and paper. You have more options for this at the paid level, as well.

Another option is videos.  One thing I like about these videos is that they give multiple opportunities for the child to say the target word.  I also like that the videos show real pictures of the target word.   As you can see, the word was cut off in the video for me...I also think the title "Sentence Trainer" is misleading, since they are one word targets.

There are many games, activities and flashcards for the kids to go through.  Here's one of the games/activities.  The child listens to what the computer says, says the word, and then drags it to the table. There are multiple levels of this activity as well.  No data collection here either, so you'll need a pen and paper.

In the download area, there are some worksheets that they say are for parents.  One of them is what they call a segmentation worksheet.  The idea is to put the target sound before or after the vowel and then drive a car along the road to practice.  This is a cute idea for practice with one syllable targets.

There is a whole section where you can access activities by sound.  There are worksheets, sound practice, and an ebook associated with those sounds.

There is an error on that worksheet...However, I do believe there are good, useful worksheets.
UPDATE:  This has been corrected.

Here's an example of an ebook.  I actually really like these. They do a good job of incorporating the target sound, targeting only that sound, and giving cues for what to say to the child.   There are some for language as well.  Here's a pic of the first three pages of this book.

In the control panel, there is also a calendar with daily activities for parents to do with their children.

With a paid membership, you can access more of the videos, flash cards, worksheets, and books.

Bottom Line:
-This site was designed for parents, which is LOVE the idea of.  I love involved parents, and I think something like this would be great for them.
-HOWEVER, and I think it's a big "however,"  there is no mention of consulting an SLP.  As a future SLP, this absolutely concerns me. As I mentioned above, parents should always consult an SLP if they have concerns about their child's speech and/or language.
-SO, if you were to use this site as an SLP or a parent approached you about using it, I would give careful directions on how to use each activity, game, video, flash card, etc.  Show them exactly how to use them properly. Show them how to cue their children. You know the drill.
-I think students/children will enjoy the activities here.

Do you want to check this site out for yourself?? There are several membership options.  You can try it for free OR you can purchase a discounted membership on Educents this week.

Disclaimer: Access to this site was provided to me for my review. All opinions expressed are mine. No other compensation was received. 

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  1. Who is responsible for the content on this site? I am concerned about someone taking money while inferring that parents can do this on their own.

    1. Tracy, see the comment below from the company for a name.

  2. Hello Carissa!

    Thank you for reviewing our website Spchlang.com. You are correct in the assumption that our website is not aimed towards SLPs. We designed SpchLang solely for the benefit of parents who would like to teach their children how to talk. Children who have speech disorders should consult a Speech Pathologist.

    However, we felt it necessary to point out that our website does in fact direct parents to consult the help of Speech Language Pathologists if the need arises. We are currently compiling a directory of SLPs for the benefit of parents who would like to have access to those services. The directory, while incomplete, is currently available on our website.

    You can view our growing SLP directory here: http://www.spchlang.com/business-directory/

    We've also corrected the one error you pointed out & would like to assure you that it did not detract from the actual benefit of the tools we provide.

    Once again, thank you very much for reviewing our services!

    Dee King, SMC


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