Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Auditory Processing Studio {App Review}

Auditory Processing Studio is the newest app from, Virtual Speech Center. The app is intended for children or adults (7 and up) who have a diagnosis of CAPD or similar processing difficulties.

Auditory Processing Studio is the second app developed by the VSC for auditory processing disorders. Their first app, The Auditory Workout used a 'top-down' approach to CAPD. The Auditory Processing Studio uses a 'bottom-up' approach. 

Let's take a time-out and revisit what bottom-up and top-down approaches mean for CAPD. I went to the ASHA Position Statement to refresh myself! 

Treatment and management of (C)APD should incorporate bothbottom-up (e.g., acoustic signal enhancement, auditory training) and top-down (i.e., cognitive, metacognitive, and language strategies) approaches delivered consistent with neuroscience principles (e.g., training should be intensive, exploiting plasticity and cortical reorganization; training should be extensive, maximizing generalization and reducing functional deficits; training should provide salient reinforcement to induce learning). Bottom-up approaches are designed to enhance the acoustic signal and to train specific auditory skills. Top-down approaches provide compensatory strategies designed to minimize the impact of (C)APD through the strengthening of higher order central resources (i.e., language, memory, attention) that individuals with (C)APD may draw upon to buttress deficient auditory processing skills not fully remediated through auditory training. Comprehensive intervention management typically is accomplished through three component approaches that are employed concurrently: direct skills remediation, compensatory strategies, and environmental modifications. In addition, it is important that training principles be extended across all settings, including the clinic, the classroom, the workplace, and the home, to maximize mastery and ensure generalization of learned skills.

Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005). (central) auditory processing disorders—the role of the audiologist [Position Statement]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.

The Auditory Processing Studio uses the bottom-up approach by targeting the follow skills: Auditory Discrimination (16 levels of difficulty) Auditory Closure (17 levels of difficulty), Phonological Awareness (16 levels of difficulty), Figure-ground (each of the above activities can be practices with competing noise.) There are a total of 2450 stimuli included in the app (most levels included contain 50 trials.)

Start by adding student names (My brother, Garrett, probably really enjoys seeing his name on every review:) )

You will see individual levels for each of the different activities (listed above.)

Here's an example of Auditory Discrimination level 1: same/different consonant minimal pairs (initial position of words). The audio recording said 'dish,fish'

Another example for Auditory Discrimination level: 6: picture identification of minimal pairs (vowels). 

These examples includes Auditory Closure tasks.  The first task said, Finish the sentence:  'Twinkle Twinkle little ___."

The activities can all be used with figure-ground in the 'settings'. There are 5 different sounds that can be adjusted in the 'settings'

The activities continue until the students collect enough points to play the instruments. You can select various background songs to play while student tap on the drums. 

The Bottom Line: 

Pros: This app targets a variety of skills appropriate for children with CAPD. There is a wide variety of skills and each of those skills has up to 50 different stimuli. The different types of back ground noise are great. 

Cons: The instrument playing isn't very motivating. I wish there was a simple rhythm to copy to 'play' a common song (this would also incorporate from memory tasks.) Just tapping the drums isn't enough to motivate my older students (and this app is developed for those 7 and up).

Auditory Processing Studio is available on itunes. It's currently listed at $29.99. If you want to check out the intro video check out their website here. 

Disclosure statement: The VSC provided a copy of this app for review. No other compensation was provided and the opinion/statements are strictly mine.