More and more, speech and language therapists are turning to the Internet to provide high-quality speech therapy exercises for their therapy sessions. As children (and their parents) become more proficient in technology and in particular tablets and mobile devices, therapists are presenting innovative ways to keep their therapy services current with today’s technology standards.
Get your iPads ready! Games, puzzles, stories on the go? Speech Therapy is no longer one size fits all. Recent innovations in technology provide many valuable tools for speech therapy. Apps, iPad games and gadgets offer opportunities for learning at every level of speech therapy and often help make the therapy fun. Of course, apps should not be viewed as a replacement for a comprehensive speech therapy plan, and you should always seek to contact your SLP if you are planning to use applications, games and gadgets in conjunction with your therapy sessions.
How do you find apps for your kids that are not only fun, but provide the necessary tools to build language and speech skills? The first years of a child’s life are the most important part of developing speech, language and cognitive skills. It’s important for parents to create activities to help develop these language skills by providing stimulation and creating opportunities to foster these developing language skills. Downloadable apps are an excellent way to build language skills and engage your child. And, apps make a great Christmas gift!
What you did this weekend, the best movie you ever saw and the story of The Three Little Pigs. What do these three things have in common? They are all narratives. They are stories you might tell a friend, as a child to tell you or share with a child. Stories are an important part of speech and language. Children need to develop the ability to logically and accurately recall details and the timely of events in addition to meaningful descriptions of what occurred. Children working on articulation need to move from saying sounds at the syllable level to within a short sentence and eventually, in connected speech. Storytelling is an important area to target in speech therapy and there are some great new tools to do it. Using the iPad, some great storytelling apps help children develop and engage with their narrative while providing multisensory feedback. They are engaging, easy to save and share and return to later for editing or expanding.
When you think of your fondest childhood memories, do they involve pretend play? Mine do. Dress up, doctor, grocery store, teacher and beauty parlor to be specific. Child development experts know this isn’t just any childhood activity, pretend play serves a purpose in fostering language skills and cognitive development in children. For children with language disorders, pretend play is a great therapy technique. Today, however, you don’t need a set of dolls and teacups – the great people at Toca Boca have developed a line of pretend play apps. Now you can have a birthday party, tea party, build a robot and style your hair – without all the usual play props. Using your iPad, parents looking to incorporate at-home speech and language therapy activities, should consider using these great apps.