Friday, April 19, 2013

Apraxia Ville {app review}

Smarty Ears has been busy once again. They have recently published their first Apraxia app, Apraxia Ville. Apraxia Ville is a farm full of words! You might remember a recent apraxia activity I used included animals, because two of my sweet little ones are OBSESSED with animals! I couldn't wait to try this app out on them! 

Start Apraxia Ville by choosing players. Select multiple players as needed.

Sound windows are for practicing sounds production. The avatar will produce the given sounds. Tap the picture to change the target sound. Use the sliding bar at the bottom to change the speed of the production. Slow it down and let your students watch the lips of the avatar. Tap the camera button and use the camera to let your student watch himself produce the sound.

The second activity is the Farm House.  For each student select the syllable structure (level 1: CV/VC and level 2: CVC) and the sounds to target. If you have previously used the app, you can select your last used settings at the bottom, and save yourself some time!

The target word and picture will be seen in the barn doors. Select the student who is working by clicking on their name in the top windows. You will see data collection above their head, just click those buttons to collect data. Voice recording is available in this portion of the app. Along the right hand side you will also see the Window Cues. Tap the magnifying glass to go watch a closer model.

The third activity is the Words Farm. In this portion of the apps, students are combining words. First select two or three words to be combined. Here you can determine syllable structure and phonemes right on the play screen. If you press the green play sign between the words it will read the two given words (pie, mad). Change the picture with a finger swipe up or down.

The data collection records the accuracy, targets, activity, time, etc. You can check out graphs for consonants and vowels.  This data can be shared on the Therapy Report Center, printed, or emailed. 

When you’re in the ‘select player’ screen you will see the icon for settings. The settings allow for specific words to be modified. You can either unselect specific words or add your own words. To add a word, select ‘edit’ and press the  plus sign. Here, when I added a picture of the ‘Bean’ I selected it be added to the /b/ targets and that it is a CVC word.  

Homework is included within the app. You can print directly from the iPad or email it as an attachment.

Pros: The app takes into consideration the increasing complexity we use to target words including sound, syllable, words and combining words. I love the ability to select very specific targets included vowels and individual consonants. Printing homework is a huge plus, because  finding words in just CV or VC can be difficult! 

Cons: I would love to see other syllable structures introduced as well (CVCV, CCVC, etc). Since prosody is such an important part of apraxia I would LOVE to see some type of sentence activity available as a part of the Words Farm. I think the app could employ some common carrier phrases (I see..., The ..... is on the table, Is that a ...?) This would allow the clinician to  collect data on prosody. As the app is developed the combining words section only connects nouns, which doesn't require attention to prosody. 

Disclosure Statement: This app was provided by Smarty Ears for review. No other compensation was provided. The opinions expressed are the authors.