… and 35 apps to get you started!

In Part 5 of Getting Started with Apps in Speech Therapy, we’re looking at how speech-language pathologists can use apps in sessions with adults. There are so many great apps for speech therapy, with new ones coming out all the time, that it would be impossible to share with you every good app and how to use it. To help you get started, we’ll cover 5 different ways you can use apps, and highlight a few good apps to try.

Part 5 - How SLPs Use Apps - Getting Stared with Apps in Speech Therapy

1) As Stimuli for Therapy

As a speech-language pathologist, your job is to get people talking and improve the way they do it. To do this, you need your many years of education and experience, evidence-based techniques, and stimuli – the materials you use to evoke speech during therapy. Apps are amazing for this because they offer photos, videos, sounds, and interactive experiences that are far more engaging than the old workbook pages and flashcards. Here are some apps that provide great stimuli to use during skilled therapy:

Apps For Language Therapy

  • Conversation Therapy: engaging pictures and questions to start conversations and target specific types of answers or communication goals (free Lite version)
  • WikiArt: a collection of great artwork to discuss; try starting with Normal Rockwell or explore personal interests
  • Video Time Machine & YouTube: use videos and music to work on narratives or reminiscence
  • My PlayHome: an interactive home environment to target functional vocabulary and directions for adults who don’t mind the more childish interface (free Lite version)
  • More Grillin’ & other “More” food apps: interactive cooking is a great way to use functional vocabulary, give and follow directions, and see the results
More Grillin' is an app for speech therapy - language stimulation

More Grillin’ is an app that can be used to stimulate language production in speech therapy

Apps For Speech Therapy

  • Speech FlipBook: thousands of single-syllable words fully-adjustable by sounds; quickly generate word lists for apraxia and dysarthria
  • NACD Apraxia series: simple syllables in sound classes to stimulate motor planning for people with apraxia of speech, though the illustrations are somewhat childish
  • Tongue Twisters: an assortment of sentences to read aloud slowly and carefully to challenge the motor speech system
  • Word Vault: words, pictures, and other therapy prompts sorted by sounds and syllable length for a variety of goals
  • You’re Only Old Once: a Dr. Seuss book for adults to work on prosody, rate, and clear speech
You're Only Old Once is an app for speech therapy

You’re Only Old Once is a singsongy book that can be used to practice oral reading with varied prosody

Apps For Cognitive Therapy

  • Tic Tac Toe: a simple game to establish touching the screen, taking turns, and basic logic
  • Awesome Memory: a card matching game that can be used to teach memory strategies
  • Bag Game: a visual way to play 20 Questions to work on logic and memory
  • Matrix Game 3: a non-verbal organization activity good for a quick screening of cognition in people with aphasia
  • Where’s My Water: one of many games that can be used for executive function assessment and training
Where's My Water is an app for speech therapy

Where’s My Water? is a game that can be used as a cognitive stimulus to work on executive functioning

2) To Provide Feedback

When a therapist provides verbal feedback on a client’s speech, she may sound overly critical or seem a bit of a nag. But when an app provides concrete data, the client has less reason to refute the feedback and may take more ownership in adjusting their performance. Use these apps to build insight and independence in speech, swallowing, and cognition:

Breathing Zone - app for speech therapy

Breathing Zone guides you through deep, mindful breathing to calm the nervous system and ease anxiety

3) For Education

Some apps provide images, video, and text that can be used to educate clients, students, and clinicians. These apps are a great place to start:

  • drawMD SLP: anatomical diagrams you can label, personalize, and send to clients
  • Aspiration Disorders: video models of aspiration during swallowing as seen on video fluoroscopy (VFSS/MBS) and fibroendoscopic examination of swallowing (FEES), also in an app bundle
  • 3D Brain: a model of the brain with explanations of what each section does
  • One Skill: a video collection that demonstrates aphasia-friendly communication techniques
  • Upper Respiratory Virtual Lab: an interactive trip through the nose to the pharynx to experience what you’ll see when doing a flexible endoscopic examination of swallowing (FEES)
URVL

Upper Respiratory Virtual Lab educates as you navigate down the nasopharynx to the larynx as you would when doing a FEES

4) As Clinical Support

These apps will make your job easier and benefit your clients, even if they never know you’re using them. Check out these essential apps to support clinicians:

  • Google Translate: when you need a quick translation and an interpreter isn’t available
  • Tx Tools: tally data, time responses, and calculate percentages and age
  • Notability: one of many PDF annotation apps that allows you to load digital workbooks or conference presentations and make notes
  • Bamboo Paper: a virtual blank book you can use as a notepad, drawing pad, or photo mark-up tool
  • Spaced Retrieval Therapy: a timer and data tracking tool for doing the evidence-based spaced retrieval memory training technique.
SRT is an app for speech therapy

Spaced Retrieval Therapy keeps track of expanding intervals and data for memory training

5) For Home Use

There are many great apps for clients to use at home or in the community – for home practice, life participation, alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), and edutainment. Therapists need to introduce these apps to clients in the clinic, train proper use in therapy, and then send the apps home with the client for everyday use. These apps for home use are the ones we’ll focus on next in Part 6 of Getting Started with Apps in Speech Therapy.

 


 

For even more apps and reviews, explore our Resources.