Novels, magazines, blogs, recipes, the news –nearly everybody enjoys reading something. Even if you don’t like reading for pleasure, you rely on it to navigate in your daily life with product labels, signs, and text messages. Losing your ability to read can be devastating, yet that’s the reality for many stroke and brain injury survivors.
Speech therapy helps people regain the ability to read. Tactus Therapy now has professional speech therapy apps to help at all levels of reading comprehension, helping you get back to reading the things that matter to you. Speech-language pathologists use our apps in your session to assess, teach, and monitor your abilities, while you use them at home to get the intensity of practice needed to improve.
Introducing Advanced Reading Therapy
Advanced Reading Therapy is the newest addition to the Tactus Therapy app family. This app features over 200 paragraph-level passages in three graded levels, along with a unique set of tools to help you improve. It’s perfect for those with aphasia or cognitive-communication challenges after a stroke or brain injury.
- Level 1: Shorter passages of 50 words or less, written around a Grade 0 – 1 reading level. Three questions after each passage test comprehension.
- Level 2: Medium passages of 50-150 words, written around Grade 2 – 3 reading level. Four questions appear to see how well you understood.
- Level 3: Harder passages get you ready for the texts you want to read. 150 – 600 words and Grade 3 – 6 reading level with five questions each.
Questions after each passage get at the main idea, details, inferences, and predictions. Carefully crafted answer choices make sure readers truly understand what they’ve read.
Try it for yourself for FREE! Download Advanced Language Therapy Lite on your iOS or Android device today.
Something for Everyone to Enjoy
There are 15 categories of passages, so there’s something to suit everybody’s interests and needs. Advanced Reading Therapy has some unique categories that are perfect for therapy:
- Functional Passages: recipes, instructions, labels, timetables, bills, menus, and more
- Text Messages: everyday messages you might get on your phone
- Letters: typical of what might come in the mail or email
- Inferences: short stories that require you to make some leaps to understand
- Jokes: stories that require a deeper understanding to find funny
- Short Stories: entertaining narratives that tell a complete story
- First Chapters: simplified from fiction books in the public domain, get started reading in the app, then finish the original book on your own
- Robinson Crusoe
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet
In addition to these special categories, there are also non-fiction articles that fall into familiar topic areas, just like you’d find in a newspaper: Arts & Entertainment, Funny But True, Health, History, News, People & Places, Science & Technology, and Sports & Leisure.
Technology Tools Make Reading Easier
This app isn’t just a workbook. It makes full use of the digital technology to help readers along the way.
Audio is available at every turn. Touch any word to hear it aloud. Play the whole passage, or go sentence-by-sentence or word-by-word. Double-tap to start playing from any point. Hear each question and answer choice aloud if you choose.
Want to change the voice? Go into the main Settings app on your iPad or iPhone. Touch General > Accessibility > Speech > Voices > English and select a new voice for your region (US/UK/etc).
When answering the questions, you can look back at the passage at any time. It’s easy to navigate back and forth between questions and the passage to check for the answer, or use the Hint button to highlight the relevant text.
Customize the display to your liking. Adjust font size, line spacing, and speech rate at any time on-screen.
Therapeutic Tools Encourage Improvement
Reading Aloud: It’s your choice whether to read aloud or silently, but reading aloud has great therapeutic benefit. Research shows that oral reading not only improves reading, but also speaking and writing! Touch each word as you read aloud in unison, or touch only the words you need help reading.
Feedback on Progress: On-screen recording lets you record yourself reading and play it back, or email it to the therapist or your family to help track your progress. Email reports also track progress and are easy to send at the end of each session. Remember to enter an email address in the Settings to send results (and recordings) with just two taps.
Build Self-Awareness: After each passage, a self-rating screen appears. Select how well you understood, then follow the advice on the screen. You may be ready to jump into the quiz, or it may be better for you to go back, re-read, or summarize the passage first. This step of judging your own comprehension is called self-monitoring, and it’s a powerful metacognitive tool in recovery. (And it can be turned off in the Settings if it’s not helpful.)
Learn Independence: A hidden gem in the app is on the Settings screen. You can choose to have the words not play out when you tap them, but instead use Regular Selection. This lets therapists and clients work on using the built-in tools of the device, such as looking up a word’s definition, or using Speak Selection. These accessibility tools can be used in web browsers or other apps to make reading easier. For those who want to highlight, underline, or increase the font size even more, this option also allows for copying the text to paste into a printable document.
Make it Easier: Also in the Settings, you’ll find you can limit answer choices to just 2 or 3. When simplifying in this way, the closest-to-correct answers are removed first, so it not only leaves fewer choices, but also more obvious ones. This can allow a person to practice any level with greater success, building confidence as their skills improve.
Make it Harder: While each level is harder than the last, there are ways to add challenge to any level.
- Cover the answer choices with a sheet of paper and require a verbal response. Then select the closest choice to see if it’s correct.
- Turn off Auto-Advance to discuss each answer choice after the correct answer is selected.
- Force a delay between reading and answering the questions to focus on memory.
- Summarize the passage aloud after you’ve read it – retelling is an excellent way to remember something better.
Evidence-Based: Clinicians have been using a variety of techniques in practice, and some research has been done to explore what works best for reading. Techniques such as oral reading, re-reading, chunking, reasoning training, compensatory and metacognitive strategies, and visual tracking all have a place in treatment, depending on the underlying problem with reading (attention, memory, reasoning, vision, language, etc). Many of the techniques known to work are integrated into this app for independent use, and others are possible using the app with a trained therapist.
- Watter, K., Copley, A., & Finch, E. (2017). Discourse level reading comprehension interventions following acquired brain injury: a systematic review. Disability and rehabilitation, 39(4), 315-337.
- Watter, K., Copley, A., & Finch, E. (2016). Treating reading comprehension deficits in sub-acute brain injury rehabilitation: Identifying clinical practice and management. Journal of communication disorders, 64, 110-132.
- MacDonald, S. (2017). Introducing the model of cognitive-communication competence: A model to guide evidence-based communication interventions after brain injury.Brain injury, 1-22.
Try Advanced Reading Therapy Lite for Free
Advanced Reading Therapy is now available for your iOS and Android devices. Download Advanced Language Therapy Lite now for a sample of how the app works with 15 passages – 5 at each level. Then upgrade to the full version of Advanced Reading Therapy for over 200 total passages.
Other Apps for Reading Comprehension
Not everyone is ready for paragraphs or passages, so it’s important to find the app that works at the right level for you. Tactus Therapy offers 3 other apps to improve reading comprehension for iOS and Android devices:
Single words: Comprehension Therapy, part of Language Therapy 4-in-1, has over 700 single words including nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Use the Read or Listen&Read activities to solidify word-level reading skills.
Try Comprehension Therapy for FREE by downloading Language Therapy Lite
Try Reading Therapy for FREE by downloading Language Therapy Lite
Complex Sentences: Advanced Comprehension Therapy works on more complicated sentences that use pronouns, have indirect objects, and use the passive voice. All 3 activities have options for reading or combining listening and reading.
Try Advanced Comprehension Therapy for FREE by downloading Advanced Language Therapy Lite
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