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Speaking of Apps

Dr. Seuss Never Gets Old

Published August 6, 2012 2:36 PM by Megan Sutton

There are iBooks and Audiobooks for adults, but sometimes therapy calls for text and audio paired together to target both speech and language goals.

The App Store is bursting with read-along book apps for children. One of these titles that works well for adult speech therapy clients is "You're Only Old Once" by Dr. Seuss, developed by Oceanhouse Media. This book about the annoyances of medical check-ups for the aging person is a fun, whimsical story with colorful graphics and a professional narrator. Each word is highlighted as it is read, and there are only a few lines on each page, allowing time for discussion and repetition. The user can touch the words to start the narration, read it aloud themselves, or read in unison. Touch the illustrations to hear the objects named, paired with the printed word. A swipe turns the page forward or back.

In therapy, I have used this app with clients with dysarthria, apraxia, and aphasia. For a dysarthric speaker, I have them read aloud with slow, exaggerated speech when targeting the sentence level or connected speech.  Some of the less familiar words and poetic phrasing call for any reader to go slow and enjoy it. For clients with mild apraxia, it helps to have them listen to the page once, then read it aloud, focusing on the melodic line of prosody to overcome halting speech. Clients with aphasia may improve their reading skills by hearing and seeing the words at the same time, as well as practicing oral reading or naming skills. 

Every adult I have used this app with has enjoyed the story. Some have seen that they can practice their speech strategies by reading to their grandchildren with similar books at home. There are some longer and nonsense words (it is Dr. Seuss after all!) that may stump some readers, but that's why this app is a therapy tool and not a therapy replacement. The SLP must stand by, giving strategy reminders, reinforcements, and prompts to try again in order to get the most out of using this app.

This app is currently priced at $4.99 for iOS & Android


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About this Blog

    Speaking of Apps
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Rehabilitation
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