SpeakinMotion Interview & Giveaway
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Tactus Therapy and ADVANCE booths at the ASHA Convention to say "hello" and give positive feedback on the blog! It was so nice to meet everyone!
I had a chance to sit down with SpeakinMotion's Sean Keegan to talk about the VAST apps while in Atlanta. For those who don't know, SpeakinMotion has 7 apps that show quality video of a mouth in various speech acts for adults with apraxia of speech and children on the autism spectrum. Here's a summary of what he had to say:
What is VAST?
Video Assisted Speech Technology. It's a technique that Darlene Williamson, MA, CCC-SLP, developed from her work at the Stroke Comeback Center based around video modeling and script training. It combines visual, auditory, and written cueing to help the user produce speech.
Who is it for?
It was originally developed for adults with acquired apraxia of speech, but now the autism community has jumped on board. We have apps for songs, scripts, keywords, and a new app for oral motor exercises.
What should everyone know about your apps?
They're not for everyone, but for those who they help, it can build confidence or be groundbreaking to help people to speak for themselves, which is our mission.
From my own clinical use of the VAST apps, I know the close-up mouth video with subtitles is great for those with severe apraxia of speech. People who are unable to speak on their own can follow along in near-unison with a video model to produce amazingly fluent speech. My patients also benefit from not having to hear me sing "Happy Birthday" anymore! Now I just put on the VAST Songs 1 app, and they sing along. Check out the latest update of this app for new features like added songs, adjustable tempo, piano accompaniment, a new singer, easier turning on/off of subtitles, and saved settings.
I love how you can now turn the vocal track down to allow a client to sing on their own with the video and/or text cues. The new and improved video player puts all four audio tracks (metronome, rhythmic piano accompaniment, piano, and voice) in your control, while maintaining easy access to adjust captions and tempo during independent use. The new app tutorial suggests starting with the slowest tempo, then removing the captions and auditory tracks from the bottom-up to increase independence. The app allows for greater intensity of practice in singing, a skill frequently preserved in patients with aphasia.
SpeakinMotion's VAST Songs 1 - Intro is currently priced at $4.99 on the App Store for all iOS devices. For more of their apps or to learn about their custom recording service, visit http://www.speakinmotion.com/.
If you would like to win a copy of this app, please leave a comment below to enter to win!