Using the iPad in Therapy

  • 10 March 2014
  • Rosie Dwyer

I have been using an iPad in speech and language therapy now for over a year now and I don’t know how I lived without it. As a speech and language therapist you are used to pulling around suitcases full of fun and educational toys / resources, now I am no longer at risk for putting my back out with my heavy suitcase as the iPad is engaging and has so many educational apps available on it. So here I am a year down the track and thought I would take the opportunity to share with you how you can use your iPad as a teaching tool and what Apps I find to be the best and most cost effective.

The first thing I will say is that when you are using the iPad and the many Apps available as a teaching tool, it is important for you to be sitting there next to your child, working together. As adults we can often use the Apps, in ways in which the App designer never envisaged, to promote more communication. We can use interactive books to get your child to narrate the story, we can use interactive tea party games for turn taking, we can use story maker Apps to create our own books and stories, we can use articulation flashcards to make up sentences for target sounds; the opportunities are endless. This is your speech and language therapists job, to teach you how to find the right Apps, use them to elicit speech and / or language and to make them fun and engaging.

At Speak To Me, Caroline and I have hunted, sifted and sorted through the App store and we believe we have found a great selection of Apps to work on numerous communication skills; encouraging first words, teaching early signs, copying symbolic sounds (animals, vehicles etc.), copying vowel and consonant sounds, working on specific articulation targets, sequencing sounds and syllables, expanding language and grammar, developing auditory processing skills, promoting fluent speech, learning pre-literacy and literacy skills, using an alternative or augmentative method of communication (AAC), developing social skills, reading comprehension and developing storytelling ability. Whew, we have accumulated a lot! I will now mention a couple of really good Apps which target each of the aforementioned skills.

  • First Words: Toddler Touch and Say
  • Signs: Baby Sign and Learn
  • Symbolic Sounds: SoundTouch
  • Sound Imitation: Mouthworks / Speech Stickers
  • Articulation: Articulation Station
  • Sequencing Sounds and Syllables: NACD Apraxia / NACD Apraxia Words / Apraxia RainbowBee
  • Language and Grammar: Super Duper Inc. Grammar Flashcards / First Phrases / Rainbow Sentences / Sentence Builder / Picture the Sentence / Linguisystems Buddy Bear Apps / Splingo Pronouns / Speech With Milo Prepositions / Speech With Milo Nouns
  • Auditory Processing Skills: Fun With Directions / Auditory Processing Studio / Splingo Language Universe / School of Multi-Step Directions
  • Fluency: Story Wheel / Story Maker / Miss Bee
  • Literacy: Read With Biff, Chip and Kipper / Hooked on Phonics / Homer
  • AAC: Expressive
  • Social Skills: Language Lab: Spin and Speak Social Skills / Super Duper Inc. Pragmatics Flashcards
  • Reading Comprehension: Reading Comprehension Camp
  • Storytelling Narrative Skills: Speech With Milo Sequencing / Speech With Milo Interactive Storybook / The Surprise / Read With Biff, Chip and Kipper

Don’t think I have forgotten the games! There are so many games on offer through the app store, it can sometimes be overwhelming as a parent to find ones that you think have nice graphics and are educational. We normally complete one ‘work’ App first and then the children can choose from our ‘games’ section. We have some firm favourites here at Speak To Me, they are as follows:

  • Toca Boca Tea Party
  • Toca Boca Birthday Party
  • Toca Boca Monsters
  • Toca Boca Band
  • Toca Boca Cars
  • Toca Boca Trains
  • Toca Boca House
  • Toca Boca Hair Salon
  • Toca Boca Robot Lab
  • Superhero Comic Book Maker
  • Crayola Color Studio
  • Dora Coloring
  • Mr Potato Head
  • Spongebob Diner Dash
  • My PlayHome

As you can see we LOVE Toca Boca Apps. They are relatively inexpensive at $4 each and the children just adore them.

To find all of the Apps mentioned, you can search the titles through the search function in the App store.

The next thing for us to do is to make Speak To Me Apps for our children – stay posted!

Thanks for reading,


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