Thursday, May 3, 2012

Auditory Workout App Review

Auditory Workout is a new app from Virtual Speech Center, released April 2012. The app is developed for students with receptive language impairments and auditory processing disorders. While the basis for each of these disorders is different - the symptoms are very similar.  Understanding and completing multi-step directions is a key skill often targeting in therapy. The app is intended for children age 4-10, but depending on your student's cognitive abilities, could also be used for children in older grades.

The app includes hundreds of audio instructions and a feature that allows users to set background noise (classroom noise). Yes, I said background noise! This feature is so important for children with APD.  Children are welcomed by the basketball coach, who encourages them to work hard. Children earn a basketball for each correct response, and when they accumulate enough balls, they are rewarded with a game (a game of catch for younger children or/and basketball for older children).

Auditory Workout allows children to follow increasingly longer and more complex directions and includes more than 13 levels of difficulty. The directions are divided into four categories:
- Basic Directions- Quantitative and Spatial directions- Temporal directions - Conditional Directions

This is an app I have been needing for many of my students. Following directions is a tedious goal to work on session after session, but my students have been loving this app!  It allows you to select various levels of difficulty that are appropriate for your clients. The game lets you select multiple clients at one time that cycle through with the name of the child on the top of the screen. Each child can work on different goals throughout the game and you can select multiple learning targets  for each child. Data reports are available at the end of sessions.

The app allows the user to repeat the directions as many times as necessary before making a selection. The biggest change I would love to see with this app is to give the therapist the opportunity to repeat questions that students answer wrong. For 2 step directions the student selects their answers before entering 'go.' I found that I could stop them before they selected 'go' but that eliminates the data keeping from the app. I'd love if when they got the answer wrong, the screen allowed for a teaching moment. 

Overall I think therapists are going to find the app incredibly useful in therapy rooms across the country! Check it out in the itunes store today!