Therapy Toolbox App-ternatives: Part 2
I told you about free app-ternatives to replace recorders, metronomes, dice, camcorders, and magnifying glasses. Here are five more free tools for your Smartphone or tablet to replace everyday speech therapy equipment.
Instead of: Clicker/Counter
Try: Tap2Count or Aecount
No matter what you're tallying - dysfluencies, misarticulations, cues, or swallow repetitions - you can do it on your iPhone or iPad quite easily instead of using one of those little metal clickers found in so many speech toolboxes. Tap2Count is a no-frills counter with the advantage of having a customizable interval. Count by 1, 5, or anything else as you take the tally up or down with the simple + and - buttons. Aecount has a more appealing interface, allowing you to enter a title and a target and visually see progress toward a goal - very motivating for clients. It counts up by 1 with each tap, a swipe backwards takes away 1, and a pinch will reset the counter. Both apps are sized for iPhone (2x on iPad) and are free without ads!
Instead of: Amplifier
Try: Megaphone Free
A Pocketalker is a wonderful device to have on hand for when your hearing-impaired clients don't have hearing aids. If you can't afford one or find yourself without it, turn your phone into a personal amplifier by putting headphones on the hearing impaired person and speaking into the microphone using the app Megaphone Free (upgrade to ad-free for $1.99). You can also plug it into external speakers for general voice amplification. This app was valuable when working with an aphonic patient recently - the amplification was just enough for us to finally understand his faint whispers.
Instead of: Stop Watch
Try: Jumbo Stopwatch
Jumbo Stopwatch is a must-have. It has two modes: stopwatch and timer. The intuitive design allows you to count up or down equally easily, decide if the screen should stay on while the timer is running or not, and runs in the background of other apps. This free universal app without ads is almost perfect. If I have one complaint, it's the sound it makes when the timer is up; with the realism of the rest of the app, I'd rather hear a fast electronic beep than tolling bells, but for the price, I'll live with it.
Instead of: White Board
Try: Doodle Buddy or Bamboo Paper
White boards are invaluable in the therapy room to save paper. Try out these apps on your iPad instead; you won't get the fumes of the dry-erase markers or the dust! Doodle Buddy is good for drawing with multiple art tools, text, and fun backgrounds (impromptu game of hangman anyone?). It has an iPad and iPhone version, both free (hide ads for $0.99). A more elegant app for writing is Bamboo Paper (free, $1.99 for full version). Best when using a stylus, this app has a choice of ink colors and thickness, a multi-color highlighter, and an eraser. Email off your creations or save to the photo album in both apps - a feature your white board never had!
Instead of: Sound Level Meter
Try: Decibel 10
Another free, universal app without ads, Decibel 10 is a decent sound level meter for voice therapy. It displays decibel readings in digital, analogue, and graph readouts with a label for common sound levels associated with the current readout. The play/pause button allows you to record a discrete period of time. Settings allow calibration and sensitivity adjustments, and tapping the graph gives the option to email the data in an extremely detailed, zipped .csv file.