Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Test of Articulation and Phonology {app review}

As a speech pathologist in a school setting, I used the Goldman-Fristoe all the time to test for articulation.  It was standardized, which meant our state would accept it.  Well now that I have transitioned to an outpatient clinic, it's a little bit of a different world.  Generally speaking, I still use the Goldman-Fristoe.  But what happens when the child has already been given that at the school recently, and you need something else so you don't invalidate the test results?  That's when I look to other tests.

In the clinic setting, it doesn't necessarily have to be a formal or standardized assessment.  So I usually look to some of the awesome iPad apps that test for articulation. My clients are generally fairly motivated by the iPad as well, so it's a quick and easy way to get data.

All that being said, I was so excited to hear that Smarty Ears just released another new testing app called the Test of Articulation and Phonology!  Let's check it out:

Test of Articulation and Phonology (iTap) is administered very similarly to most articulation tests.  A picture is presented, the child states the object pictured, and errors are recorded.  Instead of writing down each of the errors, you can record them on the iPad.  Simply touch the phoneme produced in error, select the type of error (deletion, distortion, backing, devoicing, substitution, and assimilation).  If it is a substitution error, you can select which phoneme was substituted for the other.

Here's the video tutorial for you to watch for more information:

One of my favorite things about this app is the comprehensive evaluation report that is generated.  It provides the accuracy of phonemes by manner and location in word (initial, medial, final).  It also includes a list of all of the words administered and the transcription of each with any comments you may have added.  Finally, it also lists the percentage of the types of errors (e.g. 50% of errors were substitution).

What I love about this app:
-It's very easy to use.
-It's portable because it's on an iPad.
-It generates a very comprehensive report!
-It is great for the private practice/outpatient clinic setting where you don't need a formal test.
-It is great for progress monitoring in the school setting.
-It has norms based in Central Texas, so if you are from that region, you can use it as standardized!
-There is a helpful manual included under "info."
-It's super easy to request support if you need help.
-It stores all of the previous assessments administered, so you can look back to see if any progress has been made.
-It gives you information on both articulation AND phonology in one test!

What I would love to see in the next update:
-A way to mark multiple errors on any word, especially on blends.  Both consonants of the blend are scored together, so there is no way to mark cluster reduction and gliding for an l-blend, for example.  The only way would be to make a comment on that word.
-This would take a lot of work, I know, but I would love to see it normed on more children across the nation, so that we could use it as a full-blown standardized test!
-I would love to see the normative data published/ accessible through the app.

Overall it's a great app. I would recommend it to school-based SLPs to use for progress monitoring or private practice SLPs for an informal test. If you're in Central Texas, it's a great option for a standardized test.  It's comprehensive report is a time-saver for busy SLPs, and it gives great information about articulation and phonology.

If you are interested in this app, you can find it on the iTunes store here:

What are your favorite tests for articulation and phonology?

Note: A code was provided for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 

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