Top 5 Ways SLPs Can Get Going With Speech Therapy Apps
With the advent of smartphones and tablets, speech-language pathology has changed dramatically. While many therapy methods and tools used to be bulky, hard-to-get, and expensive, therapy can now be done more easily through mobile speech-language therapy apps. Most speech-language pathologists have favorite apps that they use in sessions, but what’s the best way to get started? Here are some tips for finding the best apps on the market.
1) Decide which areas of speech therapy to target. Most apps are designed to help with specific components of speech therapy, such as articulation, delayed auditory feedback or easy onset. If you know what you’re looking for before you start looking, it will make your search for the best app much easier.
2) Stay updated on websites that review apps. There are many blogs created for the sole purpose of reviewing speech-language pathology apps. Many are frequently updated and post reviews every time a new app comes out. The reviews allow you to see all of the features of an app before downloading it, and you can compare apps based on price and function. After doing a search of these sites, bookmark a handful that you think would be most useful, and check the site once in a while for updates.
3) Browse apps on iTunes. For iPod and iPad apps, you will ultimately purchase and download the app on iTunes. To browse the selection, go to the “Special Education” section of the app store under “Education”. The categories for “Communication” and “Language Development” contain the most apps relevant to speech-language pathology, although apps in other sections may also be helpful depending on the particular patient or practice. Many apps, such as Speech4Good, are located in the general “Education” section.
4) Look for lite versions of apps. If you are just getting started with apps, you may not be willing to spend a lot of money right away. Luckily, many app developers offer lite versions of speech-language pathology apps, which are versions which contain fewer features and are slightly cheaper. Besides the cost, downloading a lite version of an app is a great way to try out the main features of an app and see if you will like the full version.
5) Join a speech-language pathology online group and look for recommendations. If you are a speech-language pathologist on Facebook, joining the “SLPeeps” group is a must. The group on Facebook is a very active group of over 1200 speech-language pathologists, and many members post reviews of apps, links to their own apps, and even free download codes for apps. If Twitter is more your style, searching “#SLPeeps” will keep you updated on speech-language pathologist news and apps. Many app developers are active on Twitter, so you will likely come across their Twitter handles by searching this trend.
This post was written by Laina Piera, an aspiring speech-language pathologist and a Community Engagement Guru at Balbus Speech. Get in touch with Laina at email@example.com or leave a comment below.