A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
June is Aphasia Awareness Month, so I'll be highlighting apps for aphasia over the next four weeks, including therapy apps and augmentative supports.
Last August I showed you two text-based conversation starter apps, but for aphasia therapy we often need picture-based prompts to elicit descriptions and stimulate discussion. Here are two that are perfect for the purpose:
Timeline - Art Museum is a free app for iOS and Android showcasing a few pieces of artwork by 80 famous artists, offering in-app purchases of each artist's full collection. Many of these pictures provide rich stimulus for picture description and discussion. I recommend purchasing the Norman Rockwell package for $0.99 to gain access to 228 high-quality images depicting people engaged in everyday life. These classic Americana scenes from 1914-1969 appeal to older clients who may remember reading the Saturday Evening Post. The pictures can be used to elicit inferences, descriptions, humor, narratives, and reminiscences.
Conversation TherAppy is a universal app for iOS that contains over 300 photos and 3000 questions to start conversations with speech therapy clients and target a variety of goals. The scenes depict everyday activities, current topics, and safety situations with ten question types surrounding each picture. It can be used in groups with scoring for up to 6 players and has age filters for use with older children and teens as well as adults. Score how often a client uses their word-finding strategies or how independently they conveyed the answer for easy outcome measures. The full app is $24.99; a lite version is available for free. Disclosure: I developed this app through Tactus Therapy Solutions along with nine other apps that can be used in stroke rehab.
I love that both of these apps provide visual stimuli that are not childish, hold the clients' interest, and can trigger discussions of personal narratives and opinions. In contrast to apps that allow for independent practice, these apps require at least two people to use effectively, encouraging natural conversation. When using either of these apps in a group situation, it may help to connect your device to a projector so everyone can see the details in each picture. With a bit of guidance in how to cued their loved ones, family members can use these apps for home practice.
Two copies of Conversation TherAppy will be given away at random next week to people who comment below.