Lexie Cunningham shares:

When I first got the generous IPAD donated by the Crusade for Children, I immediately thought that I would be using it with my middle school language groups and some of my high school MSD students that are knee deep in learning Core Vocabulary for increasing overall functional communication. However, the group that ended up benefiting the most was actually my middle school Autism social skills group…

One afternoon, while seeing me clean up materials from a previous session, one of social skills kids asked where I got my “fancy new IPAD” and inquired about being able to use it in speech. I of course commented that we are working on conversational skills, reciprocal questions, formulating appropriate comments in class and in social situations, etc. My student responded appropriately with the comment, “surely there is a social skills game you could look for on the IPAD.” So…the four of us went searching and found the app titled 10 Ways. This fun app is a jeopardy type social skills game that can be catered to your student’s needs. Categories range from sarcasm, social role play, social inferencing and problem solving, etc. IT HAS BEEN A MIRACLE. The jeopardy style game has increased my student’s internal motivation to due to competitive nature of the game. The improvisation and role playing activities have been SO fun to watch and the kids have really grown. Not to mention, what middle school kid doesn’t enjoy “playing on the IPAD.”

Thank you again to the Crusade for Children for the generous grant and donation, and to the Speech Office for allowing us this opportunity. Another fun year in the books!

Tech Tuesday

Tammy Crane shares:

First and foremost, I would like to thank the Crusade for Children for their generous donation of our iPads. I am so appreciative because the iPad has helped me be more productive and has enhanced my therapy sessions tremendously.

I have been able to utilize the iPad in many of my sessions. It has been especially helpful with my students working on articulation. They love to record themselves and listen to help improve their speech sound productions. It has been a great tool for providing feedback to my students.

I have also downloaded some educational and fun apps.  I love to incorporate books into my therapy sessions, so when I discovered the Epic! app I was thrilled. Epic! Is a free app that offers a digital library of 25,000 books.  Reading the books on the app has been a great addition to my sessions. The students are very engaged in listening and reading the books, as well as the interactive options available. There are so many interesting books to choose from – for all ages and levels, fiction, non-fiction…  The library is searchable by title, author, or you can browse tons of different categories.

The epic app has been very helpful for targeting language skills.  A great feature of Epic! is the vocabulary and definition option. Some words let you click to read the definition of the word. For students who are working on defining and describing, we discuss the meaning of the word, then click the definition to see if we were correct.

There is also an option to create a quiz at the end of the book. I have created quizzes for my students based on their goals, as well as had the students create their own questions.  They have really enjoyed making their own questions, which helps show a deeper understanding.

For my artic students, we listen for and search for words containing their target sounds. This activity helps my students become more aware of their sounds and hopefully will increase their awareness of their speech sound production skills outside of the therapy room.

Over the summer, I hope to explore other apps available and expand my repertoire of fun and engaging activities for my students.

I can use my iPad

I wanted to share something that may help other SLPs working with AAC users. I created this simple board using symbol stix on the news-2-you site. It is particularly helpful for students who can navigate their devices well but struggle with initiating the use of the device in a variety of activities. Each time the student initiates the use of the device to ask/answer a question or comment they get a star. The assistants and teacher in the room use this board each day to ensure the students are utilizing their devices in a variety of activities. I am beginning to see increased independence with initiation of AAC across settings.  –Marie Fisher

Tech Tuesday

Jessica Wieringa shares:

I have found several apps that have been useful during speech/ language therapy sessions with preschool-age students. I typically prefer to use manipulatives/ hands-on activities during therapy sessions (most of my students are spending a lot of time in front of a screen at home), however, I have found that using the iPad as a reinforcer, during language-based activities, or in place of articulation pictures has been beneficial.

Feed the Monster (free)

I have used the app as both a reward at the end of a session or as a language based activity. The students make choices between which monster to feed and the various food items. Action words are targeted as they “prepare” the food for the monster. You can choose to cut, fry, boil, microwave, blend, etc. the food item and then feed it to the monster. You can “shake” salt and pepper on top. I have also targeted spatial concepts- in, on, under, next to, etc. The monster will make silly sounds as he gulps down the food and sometimes will refuse the food or spit it out which makes the kids crack up.

Draw with Stars (free)

I have mostly used this as a reinforcer after a completing a task or activity. It would also be good for targeting cause/ effect skills.

Phonics Consonants – Beginning Sounds (free)

I have used this app to target articulation with my preschoolers. I only have the free version, so the sounds I have been able to access are limited. My students enjoy tapping the pictures with the written word (even though most are not reading). The pictures pop up and the words are modeled for them. I have used this at the beginning of sessions to introduce sounds and during sessions for students working on imitating sounds in words. The full version is only $2.99, so I think it would be a good purchase if you have several younger students targeting articulation.

Speech Therapy Subscription Box

During a break between sessions at KSHA, Melissa and I happened upon the “Speech Therapy Essentials” booth. Speech Therapy Essentials is a subscription box, akin to Stitchfix. As you may have guessed, this subscription includes therapy materials. Each box comes with at least one book, various other therapy related materials, and a supplementary sheet that gives ideas as to how to use the materials. Melissa purchased one box and we thought it would be fun to give you a list of all the items so that you can share how YOU would use them. Each idea you share in the comments will afford you one chance to win that item! You have until next Wednesday (4/17) to share your comments. If you win, we will either send you the item via or deliver it to your school!

If you are interested, you can find more information about the boxes here.

Here are the items:

Tech Tuesday

Alice Falk shares:

Hello, SLP colleagues! I have enjoyed reading your posts regarding how you utilize the WHAS Crusade for Children iPads during speech therapy. Since many of my students enjoy showing off their reading skills, I try to incorporate books in their speech sessions whenever possible. That’s when the iPad comes in handy, allowing access to a variety of books without having to check them out of the library or locate them on a bookshelf. Specifically, I can access books, videos and book-related puzzles and games via TumbleBooks. This online library ( contains many categories such as: Story Books, Chapter Books/Read-Alongs, National Geographic Videos, and Non-Fiction.

TumbleBooks appeal to students because they “take existing books and add animation, sound, music, and narration to produce electronic picture books which you can read or have read to you.” The TumbleBooks collections include 500-1100 titles from noted children’s book publishers. In fact, several books that my students were reading in the classroom are available on TumbleBooks such as Enemy Pie and Because of Winn-Dixie. Although the selections are mostly for students in elementary school, the books are also labeled by reading level. Therefore, even middle school students who are reading below grade level may find chapter books, non-fiction books, and National Geographic videos to their liking. (I recommend the Meerkats video–too cute!)

We use TumbleBooks in speech group to practice articulation skills during oral reading and short answer tasks. The language opportunities are endless such as: answering “wh” questions, story re-telling, defining vocabulary words, identifying the main idea, and making predictions. We also practice fluency skills such as easy onset of speech, appropriate pacing, and maintaining good breath support.

Since my school subscribes to TumbleBooks, my students and I can sign on via the Sanders website all year round. You may wish to consult with your librarian to find out if this resource is available at your school.