This article was written by guest blogger Candace Denver for speakplaylove.com.
More than one million children in the US receive school-based speech and language services. It was necessary then, for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to maintain clinical speech-language services via teletherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic closures. Studies indicate that over 60% of responding SLPs provided teletherapy to all or some students on their caseloads through Zoom and Google Hangouts. Despite 25% receiving no support or training from their district to maintain service provision, many SLPs were largely successful in their efforts.
Even as things go back to normal, the delivery of some SLP services will likely continue this way. There are plenty of resources for speech disorders you may already be familiar with, such as engaging books for children to feel less alone, knowing that others have gone through the same struggles. There are also Boom Cards, which is an online flashcard platform for children to practice basic skills through self-grading tasks.
Still, you can further upgrade your virtual therapy sessions through different apps and software. For the best results, you can mirror or screen share these apps, depending on which device you’re using and which tools you think are appropriate for the demographic you’re handling. In this article, we’ll take a look at four great apps that can give you a boost in your SLP teletherapy sessions:
Splingo is an app designed for younger children with limited expressive language skills and more significant developmental needs. Its kid-friendly, interactive outer space theme encourages early vocabulary development with 100+ high-frequency words and enhances listening skills. You can customize it by frequency of rewards or by word types (nouns, verbs, prepositions, adjectives). The four levels can be customized to increase in difficulty as a child ages, and Splingo keeps things fun with interactive mini-games between trials.
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Articulation Station is the flagship app of Little Bee Speech. It’s a comprehensive app to address speech sound delays, with 22 sounds that feature 60 target words through word, phrase, sentence, or short story levels. Children will definitely enjoy the matching games, flashcards, and slot machine-style spinner activities Articulation Station has to offer. The app also has recording and data-collecting features that provide feedback and evaluate progress, so even parents can reinforce therapeutic goals at home. Moreover, Articulation Station allows for both individual and group use.
Modern simulation and telepractice solutions like Simucase are great for your additional training as an SLP, as it allows you to master skills in interviewing, goal writing, test administration, and data collection in a virtual, low-pressure environment. Simucase is an online program that is used by top universities to train clinical observation and assessment skills. This patented simulation software allows you to practice your assessment of speech and language disorders, through virtual patients presented through avatars or videos. The clinical simulations make it easier to improve the way you address speech issues in an online setting.
Tactus Conversation Therapy
Among the top mobile apps for speech-language therapy, Tactus Therapy solutions are considered to be some of the best in the market. Many of their apps promote small but significant improvements in language outcomes for older children and adults — and Tactus Conversation Therapy is no exception. Speech therapy tends to focus on communicating basic needs or functional vocabulary, but Conversation Therapy hones language skills for people who want to express their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and ideas clearly in conversation. You can select relevant topics from 12 categories, then follow along with guided questions and problem-solving scenarios, so children can work on the nuances of conversational give-and-take.
There are plenty of apps and programs suitable for SLP teletherapy sessions. The key is to do some research on the specific needs of the children you handle, as there are different options available for a range of speech therapy goals.
What are your favorite apps for teletherapy? Comment below!