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Speaking of Apps

A Vocabulary App

Published August 4, 2014 2:39 PM by Lynn LaValley

PCS Memory is an app for the iPad addressing articulation and language skills. At the low cost of $4.99, this app is a must.  (There is a limited free version as well.)

The app allows its users to have exposure to vocabulary via categorization, articulation, language concepts such as adjectives, synonyms and antonyms, and pre-literacy skills (e.g. rhyming).   

There are numerous categories and sub-categories from which to choose including:

  • animals (zoo, farm, etc)
  • actions
  • food (desserts, snacks, fruits, vegetables)
  • holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween)
  • school
  • places
  • states
  • jobs
  • instruments
  • vehicles
  • signs
  • clothing
  • body

Articulation boards have 60 PCS symbols per sound, separated into either 10 or 20 per sound for initial, medial and final positions. All sounds are included, as is vocalic /r/, prevocalic /r/, /s/, /l/, and /r/-blends. 

Rhyming words have 50 pairs of 3, 4, and 5 letter rhyming words with various vowel sounds including: o, u, y, a, and e. Some of the children used this app with for language or articulation have requested to earn the rhyming portion and make silly poems with words as they get matches. 

PCS Memory includes 100 symbols per synonyms, antonyms and adjectives. Quite often, I use the adjectives group to prompt expanded sentence formulation. As my patients match adjectives, they are required to create a sentence with that word. I use the same strategy with articulation as well (i.e. is the child's target is words in phrases or sentences, post a match, they are apply the word). 


A great feature of PCS Memory is its customizable board size that allows it to be used with children of all ages and abilities. The familiarity of the PCS pictures aides in its use with children with autism, developmental delay and other diagnoses. 

Although, we as therapists are always providing feedback to our patients, the auditory and visual feedback this provides is motivating for the kids we work with. Each time a match is had, "great job," "bravo," "you're amazing," or another positive praise phrase is provided. Also, intermittent reinforcement is given upon completion of a varied number of boards, with short funny animated videos being shown. 

I have yet to find a child who doesn't love to play this app, and being such a low cost, many parents have purchased it for home use as well. This summer, numerous parents have reported they purchased it to use while on vacation and love it!

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posted by Lynn LaValley


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About this Blog

    Speaking of Apps
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Rehabilitation
  • About Blog and Author

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