Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Letter Reflex: Overcoming Letter Reversals - Review

Bottom line: The new app from the developers of Dexteria is must-buy for addressing letter-reversal issues, but also highly recommended for use with younger children learning their letters.

If you would like to purchase Letter Reflex ($1.99, iPad/iPhone) please support by using this link:

I know what you’re thinking, Deanne gave an app 5 stars!?!? So, let me tell you about Letter Reflex and then explain why this is the first app I have awarded a coveted five-star Smart Apps for Kids rating, which less than 20 apps have received.

Letter Reflex consists of two games, Tilt It and Flip It. In Tilt It, the player has to complete a letter – p, q, b or d – by tilting the device to roll a ball into the correct circle. Audio instructions are given and a visual prompt is used at the beginning of the game to demonstrate the tilting action requited. If the player is successful the completed letter forms on the screen and is pronounced.

This is a very simple game that progressively becomes more and more challenging. The app’s iTunes description informs us that the game uses kinesthetic learning to teach left from right: “According to research, a key reason for letter reversals is not knowing left from right, and as a result kids get confused when trying to discriminate between a “b” and a ‘d” or a “p” and a “q”. They’re not quite sure which side the letter loop should go on.”

Kinesthetic learning is a fancy term for learning by doing, also referred to as tactile learning. The idea is that by playing a game that associates the left side with the letters d and q and the right side with the letters b and p, the child will, over time, form a strong correlation in their mind for the correct side to put the loops of those letters on.

Flip It looks like an arcade game – letters and words float on the screen and the player has to swipe them in the right direction in order to orient them correctly. At the beginning to the game there is a visual prompt for the swinging action and verbal instructions are provided at the start of each level.

While Tilt It is all about movement, Flip It forces the child to think before they swipe and is designed to hone their visual discrimination skills while giving them the opportunity to practice the skills developed while playing. I personally found both games to be very easy to play and engaging but also challenging and, frankly, slightly addictive.

The game play is randomized so I don’t foresee it being a problem to convince children to repeat the activities. Upon completion of each level, both games have a pop up indicating how much time the level took to complete and how accurate the child was. There is also a report button on the home page which enables this data to be emailed directly from the app, making it easy for parents, teachers and therapists to keep tabs on a child’s progress.

I honestly cannot imagine how this app could be improved upon. It clearly represents a lot of thought and research and the execution is terrific. It would be easy to view this as a niche app that addresses a very specific developmental issue and as a result the developer could have justified a much higher cost, but at $2.99 this app is very reasonably priced and represents a great value. Lastly, I think it has a much broader application than just for use in combating letter reversal problems. I would recommend that you consider buying this app if you have or work with:
* Kids at the preschool age or developmental level. All children need to learn left from right and this app helps firmly cement that concept.
* Individuals with motor-planning issues.
* Dyslexics or others with similar learning disabilities.
* Kids who learn best by doing things.

I hope it’s apparent why I believe this is a must-have app that easily merits a five star rating.

This review was written by Deanne Shoyer who doesn’t always mind her p’s and q’s but thankfully knows which direction they face. was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.

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