Sunday, October 30, 2011

Commentary on the 60 Minutes Report

There has been some dialogue and commentary about the report that 60 minutes did on the use of the iPad with people with autism. One of the issues include using insensitive or inappropriate language when describing the people affected with autism and their symptoms. The other prevailing theme seems to be the lack of recognition of other devices, particularly touch tablet technology designed for special needs, that preceded and continue to be used. And lastly, one of the most common sticking points seems to be that this is a tool - and should not be seen as something more. Very valid points to be made and I am sharing three blogposts for our readers to check out.

A speech pathologist blogs at about the iPad report - check to read here.

An Assistive Technology Specialist M. Ed gives her take on the report here.

Some remarks from a mother can be found here.

One thing is certain - it brought some interest to those with special needs and the use of assistive technology.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Apps that Target Articulation

The following is a list of apps that work on articulation.
Make note that prices are accurate for the date of this post

/r/ Intensive SLP

450 /r/ words including prevocalic /r/, /r/ clusters, /rl/, /lr/, /ar/, /er/, /or/, etc. practice at word or phrase level

iTunes Link



Articulate It!

Contains over 1 thousand images in all sounds of the English language with audio for every word. Built in voice recording allows the children to compare their productions with the audio recording.

iTunes Link



Articulation Station

Awaiting a fall release of this app - a full articulation program that has everything you would need to teach every sound and to also create a thorough way to track data and scores that would be easy to navigate and clear to understand.

Website Link



21 decks with 40 cards each (113 cards in r deck, 913 total cards) for the following sounds: th, f, v, ch, sh, k, g, s, z, l, r, s-blends, r-blends, l-blends, p, b, m, n, t, d, j. The decks are combined, selected for sound group (e.g., beginning th, er), then practiced in full-featured flashcard, sentences and matching activities.

iTunes Link

Free Trial Link




Matching game which allows students to play a matching game with target speech sounds. 1500 images

iTunes Link



Pocket SLP


Uses. flashcards targeting both the word and sentence levels . 29 phoneme selections. Real time scoring occurs as the Correct, Incorrect, or Approximate buttons are selected

iTunes Link



Smart Oral Motor

Provides auditory and visual cues for practicing several oral motor exercises such as:-Puckering lips, -Making an “o” with the mouth, -Sending a kiss, -Moving tongue to sides, -Puffing cheeks, -Touching cheeks using the tongue, -Moving the tongue up and down

iTunes Link




Smarty Speech

Uses flashcards – over 936 words in phenomes, 2700 images in total. Can sort by phoneme, mode of articulation, or phonological process.

iTunes Link



Sunny Articulation

Phonology Test

Clinical tool for screening, identification, diagnosis and follow-up evaluation of articulation skills in English

iTunes Link



The R App

Begin using the stimulus cards that allow R practice at the beginning, middle, and end of words. Once your child is making progress with the R words, then parents can choose to include the words within sentences. Over 600 images

iTunes Link


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

App Sale: WH Questions at School Fun Deck $2.99

SAVE 50% on Super Duper’s WH Questions at School Fun Deck App. Sale Ends 10-30-11

Available for Android and iPad/iPod
A social skills app that has 56 illustrated picture cards.
Can track correct and incorrect responses for up to five playersLink

To find out more, go to their website or see the video below.
Let us know what you think!


Check it out at iTunes!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Toronto researcher and her research on the use of tablet devices by non-verbal children w/ASD

University of Toronto researcher Rhonda McEwen presented a case study on tablet technology and autism at a half-day conference this past December 3, 2010. The conference's themes was to demonstrate that: "Tablets are changing the way we live, work and play."

Dr. McEwen's research actually put iPods and iPads into classrooms in her local Toronto community with students with autism.

To see her presentation, see below:

Rogers TabLife TO video: Tablets and Autism Case Study from Rogers Buzz on Vimeo.

Friday, October 21, 2011

CBS 60 Minutes to Air Special on iPad Use and Autism

CBS' 60 Minutes will be airing a segment on iPad Use and Autism. Lesley Stahl will report this Sunday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.

An excerpt of video of this coverage can be seen below:
Watch the Video Now

Thursday, October 20, 2011

iOS 5 and the updated Accesibility features

For those who have updated their iOS to version 5 - you may be aware of the updated features of the new iOS. Some of these features could provide a tremendous benefit to those with special needs.
There is a great post by Luis Perez's blog (subtitled insights on Inclusive Learning Technology from a blind techie) that we recommend you check out!
Click the link below to be directed to Mr. Perez's post.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Free iPad 101 presentation this evening at Marcellus Free Library

October 13th, 2011 7:00 PM

Marcellus Free Library
32 Maple Street
Marcellus, NY 13108

Contact Carol Johnson
Phone: (315) 673-3221

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Splashtop app on sale for $0.99

For those who would like to access their PC/MAC from their iPad this app does the trick. This may even be a way around the Flash issues of the Mac iOS. And right now, it is on sale for $0.99. (usually $9.99)
Checkout Splashtop's Remote Desktop !

Their website
and on iTunes

We'll keep and eye on this company and their other products too.

Friday, October 7, 2011

ACT FAST!!! Temporary $0.99 AAC app

There is an AAC app that is temporarily priced.. Sono Flex AAC app from Tobii only $.99 today (tomorrow goes up to $100!)

Access their website

Find it here in the appstore.

What others are saying...

For those who want a perspective on what people are saying about the iPad for our kids with special needs, here are a few blogposts/articles to check out:

From Maternal Instincts... One more thing dated Oct 6, 2011

From Autism Puzzle Mom... iPad dated April 26, 2011

From Blogher ... The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism dated June 15, 2010
From the author of the blog squidalicious which you have to check out!

From Evette Munz via CNN ... Steve Jobs helped my autistic son speak dated October 6, 2011

From Muslimah Next Door ... Thanks Steve Jobs from an Autism Mom dated October 6, 2011

From Spectrummy Mummy ... Legacy dated October 6, 2011

From A Diary of a Mom ... A ding in the universe/An unlikely love letter dated October 6, 2011/January 10, 2010

From Love that Max ... A thank you to Steve Jobs from a special needs mom dated October 6, 2011

From My Autistic Muslim Child ... Amin's iPad dated July 19, 2011

From Kristina C at ... Thank You, Steve Jobs: iPads and Autism dated October 5, 2011

From Solodialogue ... Thanks, in passing. October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

He may have inadvertently changed the world in a way he never knew or expected. RIP

The iPad and Visual Impairments

iPad research promising for children with cortical visual impairment

Moxie is working with Muriel Saunders, an assistant research professor at KU's Life Span Institute.

LAWRENCE — A researcher at the University of Kansas believes the iPad could vastly improve the lives and prospects of children living with cortical visual impairment, a severe neurological disorder resulting from brain damage that prevents children from interpreting visual information.

“We tested 15 children and were absolutely shocked,” said Muriel Saunders, assistant research professor at KU’s Life Span Institute. “Every single child was enthralled with the iPad. Children that typically didn’t look at people, didn’t respond with objects or responded in a very repetitious fashion, were absolutely glued to the iPad. It was an amazing experience.”

Saunders, who works with children with CVI to help them develop language skills, said that traditionally such children work with therapists and parents using a light box, akin to the light box a doctor uses to see an X-ray. This is because children with CVI have an easier time seeing lights and objects in high contrast.

“Someone with a severe CVI will spend a lot of time looking at lights,” Saunders said. “They might just sit and look at a light inside the house, or typically they look out the window into the bright sunlight. They might look briefly at something passing by, but they don’t look at faces, and they don’t look at objects. So they appear to be blind.”

With its bright screen, the iPad replicates a light box — but its interactivity, sound and color are a great deal more engaging to the children with CVI.

After a research assistant working with Saunders asked to use an iPad with the children as a possible light-box substitute, Saunders saw the powerful draw the device had for the children.

“We were using some very simple infant applications,” said Saunders. “One was called ‘Baby Finger,’ where you just touch the screen, and sounds and images and colored shapes appear on the white background. So, in many ways, it was similar to a light box except for instead of black and white, there were bright colors. We also looked at a Dr. Seuss book.”

Parents of children with CVI had been the first to notice the iPad’s potential as a therapy tool for their kids. Word of the device’s promise has begun to spread on Internet chat rooms and social media. But no formal research documenting the iPad’s power to help children with CVI has been conducted yet.

Saunders hopes to change that and now is writing a grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health to conduct a thorough study.

“Using the iPad, not only can they interact with a screen, but we can teach them through a series of steps to control things on that screen,” the KU researcher said. “There are so many apps already available; we don’t have to go out and make our own apps. There are apps available to make a communication board. There are apps available that have different levels of difficulty. Parents of children with CVI are already learning that the iPad works well. There are blogs that say, ‘Look at this one’ or, ‘Look at that one! My child is responding to this app.’”

Early intervention in the lives of children living with CVI is not just crucial to their development; it also could help them to gain better vision as they grow. Saunders said the iPad could be a crucial part of this life-changing therapy.

“With the proper intervention techniques, the amazing thing is that the child’s brain grows the brain cells needed in the cerebral cortex,” she said. “It grows the brain cells necessary to begin understanding what their eye is seeing. So they develop the ability to interpret images, sometimes just partially, sometimes fully.”

Saunders is conducting the initial tests of the iPad in cooperation with the Junior Blind of America in Los Angeles.

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