Finding the Best Speech Therapy Apps for Kids
There is no denying our kids are growing up in uniquely digital age. Our patients at Therapy & Wellness Connection often amaze us with how tech-savvy they are! It’s important as speech therapists and parents that we aren’t just giving them free reign, and instead are finding the right kind of apps that will both motivate kids and help them learn and communicate. That’s why we’re offering some tips on how to find the best speech therapy apps for kids.
Screen time is typically thought of as a passive experience. And it’s true that too much screen time can be harmful for developing minds and bodies – especially if it’s the kind of tech that doesn’t engage or teach. By focusing on speech therapy apps specifically, we can use kids’ motivation for digital rewards while also creating a compelling language-learning experience for them.
The No. 1 rule is that no matter what, the adult is the one controlling access to the device. If kid are busy clacking and swiping and clicking, they probably aren’t going to be communicating. If we’re using technology in a speech therapy setting, we always are the ones holding the device while encouraging them to talk to us and tell us what to do. Doing this gives kids the chance to delve into new learning apps while still learning to use their words to engage and play.
Speech Therapy App Search Tips
If you’re searching for an app that will help further your child’s speech therapy goals, here are four questions we would encourage asking:
Is the child enthusiastic about it? If it’s going to work as a “communication temptation” (something that gets kids talking), it’s got to be something they really want to use. It’s got to spark their interest – and it may take a few tries to find something your child will like that will also help them learn and communicate.
Does it “show me the verbs”? Lots of kids have a long string of nouns in their vocabulary rotation, but verbs are a more abstract concept of language. We find that some of the best speech therapy apps that help kids boost their verb vocab are those where there is a wide range of action happening. Verbs with Milo is a good one.
Does it teach about real-life scenarios? This is important because the whole point of using these apps is to get them to work on speech and language skills that they’re going to need in real life. Apps that help with the steps of daily routines, social situations, etc. can be great tools. iTouchiLearn Life Skills Apps are good for this. My PlayHome apps are nice too because characters in the app can participate in all kinds of tasks like brushing teeth, getting dressed, cleaning up, cooking, etc.
Can the child be creative? We want to empower kids to be creative and communicative. Draw&Tell HD lets kids draw, add stickers and upload personal photos into a variety of scenes so they can tell their own story.
If you’re looking for more great speech therapy apps that will specifically target your child’s interests, skills and therapy targets, ask your Therapy & Wellness Connection SLP!
Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – provides speech therapy to children in Akron, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Cleveland. We also offer summer camp, day programs, education services, vocational counseling and more. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email.
The 9 Best Speech Therapy Apps of 2020, Very Well Family
More Blog Entries:
Receptive Language Delays: The No. 1 Overlooked Problem in Late Talkers, Aug. 3, 2020, Akron Speech Therapy Blog