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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Reviewing the iPad: A Discussion

Published February 7, 2012 8:30 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling

This week I would like to share some of my personal and professional reflections on using the iPad. I have been incorporating the device into my therapy sessions for just one short month. However, over these past four weeks I have seen some very positive changes in my sessions.

Here are several of them:

  • The iPad is EXCITING: The iPad has captured the attention of all the children, even those that sometimes resist speech therapy. The interactive screen and programs mesmerizes even the children with the shortest attention span!
  • The iPad is THERAPEUTIC: I have used it successfully with children who exhibit aggression and behavioral issues. These are children who struggle to follow even the simplest task and who often resist any type of adult directive. For them, though, the iPad has proven to be calming, enticing and rewarding!
  • The iPad is KID FRIENDLY: I have a few children who have been resistant to articulation therapy because, I believe, I am tapping into an area that is truly difficult for them. Even these kiddos are enjoying using the ArtikPix program, as they can record their voice and play it back. They enjoy swiping the pictures and playing the memory game at the end. They now WANT to do speech therapy!
  • The iPad is DYNAMIC: I can use the iPad in both individual and group sessions and treat a variety of delays and disorders appropriately and effectively!
  • The iPad is FUN: Using an iPad during speech therapy makes learning fun. The children don't mind taking turns, missing recess or having to practice the /g/ sound for the millionth time because they are doing it with an interactive tool that challenges them in an enjoyable and innovative way.
  • The iPad is SURPRISING: Although I had heard many, many good things about the iPad, I was hesitant about using it in speech therapy. Call it fear of the unknown. Or maybe it was my own desire to keep therapy "simple" and continue with my trusty flashcards and "Go Fish" games. All are valuable in their own way.
What I have found most SURPRISING is not just how positively the students have responded to the new tool, but how I have also grown to love it! There is joy and satisfaction that comes in watching my students excel and enjoy themselves during therapy. The quality of my overall sessions has improved and student success has grown. It's amazing how pleasantly surprised you can be with the unexpected!

How has the iPad changed YOUR therapy sessions?

 

6 comments

Thinking like that shows an eexprt's touch

Grace Grace, WsDVyesLdmpzFW - JSjNrIlw, NZdqkDXhubeB April 16, 2013 3:47 AM
iZzjxoBTwP CO

Which apps do you find most useful?

Gila February 16, 2012 8:50 PM
NJ

I received my Ipad about two months ago from my school system. I am an embedded therapist in an Integrative Preschool for children living with Autism. I was enthralled then with my Ipad and my excitment has not waivered.  All  the preschoolers  (typical and on the spectrum)  are instantly motivated and attentive. The Ipad has provided opportunities for children that have difficulty initiating communication to ask  a peer if they want to 'play ipad' (therapist guided of course). I find myself making lesson plans  for my language groups and always  keeping in mind an Ipad app that will help enhance my lesson's objectives. Recently I found that most of my preschoolers living with Autism had such difficulty guessing and acting out simple actions in a game of charades. I had the children watch a preschool version of a verb app, then turned the volume off and had them watch again, then  I had them watch me do the simple actions. The children then tried to make the gestures and have  their peers guess! The Ipad provided me with a quick 'video modeling' opportunity that helped the children attend and understand gestures and  enhance their interest in the game of charades with their typical peers!

Kelly Murray-Hoff, Integrated Preschool Setting - Speech pathologist, Flemington- Raritan School District February 16, 2012 1:31 PM
Flemington NJ

I work in Inpatient Rehabilitation with patients that have various neaurological issues.  I have really been interested to see whats out there.

Gina, Speech Language Pathology - Speech Therapist, Hospital February 10, 2012 4:14 PM
Tulsa OK

I agree with Sue C. I have been a SLP for many years and have seen several therapeutic methods introduced.  Techonolgy is vital for our populations.  I work with students who are multiply handicapped.

Last spring I started using the iPad with them.  It opened a new world of attentiveness, excitement and interest to learning and a way for them to demonstrate their knowledge. As well the iPad has modernized our means to enable them to readily communicate.

We do have some students who have difficulty tapping the screen.  We are hoping more apps will be developed for them to be ample to scan through Bluetooth.

Gerene, SLP February 7, 2012 9:21 PM
Albany NY

I went to an Asha school conference in 2009. The hottest topic among the round table discussions was using iPhones or iPods in speech therapy. I started downloading a few artic apps for the iPod - this was before iPads had been invented! SLPs are so good at incorporating a variety of speech and language goals with a wide range of materials that using the iPad as a tool in therapy is a nobrainer. The iPad basically makes speech and language visual, exciting, fun, and challenging. It's so exciting to use such creative material that I'm afraid I've developed a case of 'appsberger'. Using the ipad has brought about several breakthrough opportunities for some of my students.

Sue Ciampaglio, SLP February 7, 2012 7:35 PM
Bel Air MD

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About this Blog


    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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