This week Jeremy and I are going to show you two apps for a common goal: sequencing. Sequencing cards are a mainstay in the SLP toolbox, used to practice telling and retelling stories, and reasoning through both cause/effect and before/after concepts. The App Store has at least five apps targeting sequences, all for under $5. I'll tell you about Sequences by EdNinja, and Jeremy will tell you about Making Sequences by Zorten, but you can also check out Speech with Milo: Sequencing, iSequences, and Tell a Story with Tommy.
Sequences by EdNinja is a universal iOS app priced at $3.99. It contains 12 cartoon sequences: 4 each of 3, 4, and 5 pictures/steps in length. Users drag the pictures from the top row into the numbered spots. Tapping the picture reads the text aloud, while double-tapping brings the picture to full screen size. When the story is correctly assembled, it is read aloud.
While this app is more childish than I would normally use (child's voice, animated reward and cartoon images), the settings make it very versatile. The words on the cards and story title can be removed and the audio can be turned off. You can add or remove "puzzle frames" - a unique feature that puts bumps and grooves on the edges of the cards to give a non-verbal cue as to how the story goes together. All settings can be accessed as you work, so you can adjust as needed for your client.
The app also allows you to add your own sequences using the camera or photo album and recording your voice. I love making customized sequences for my clients, following them through an activity in the rehab unit snapping some photos, assembling the sequence, and then having them use the pictures to tell me what they did earlier in the day. Unfortunately, the photos in the app get a bit squished and blurry when small, but they're clear enough when enlarged. The app also includes user profiles to track each user's progress as well as a parent/teacher area to manage the content.
There are only 12 sequences, but they are everyday activities such as washing hands, going to bed, planting seeds, and walking a dog, so they can be used by all ages. The app has received some criticism for using sentence fragments instead of whole sentences (they make more sense in the Spanish track of the app), but I appreciate this aspect as it gives my client a chance to generate the full sentence by adding the subject or choosing different vocabulary. The app also allows you to put the pictures in the wrong order, which can make for some interesting stories or good teaching opportunities.
Overall, this is a better sequencing app for children than it is for adults, but with the custom sequences, versatile settings, and easy user interface, Sequences by EdNinja is a good tool to have on hand.