Sunday, October 13, 2013

Top Apps for Expressing Our Wants/Needs Part 2

We have a discussion on our Facebook Fan Page twice a day.  This post is Part 2 of a discussion question that we received regarding apps specifically for speech delay in conjunction with an intellectual delay. There are too many apps to just mention in one post so here is the continuation of that earlier post.  Part 1 can be found here.

Amy asked: I would love if anyone knows of any good, free (if possible) apps for iPad for special needs children who have speech delay and an intellectual disability?

First thing first, here is a description of how expressive language and speech production are different. Expressive Language, is most simply stated as the "output" of our language, or how one expresses their wants and needs. This also includes not only words, but the use of gestures (such as pointing or signs) and facial expressions. It is important to remember that there is a difference between speech production and expressive language. Speech production is the individual speech sounds we make by using our lips, tongue and teeth. Whereas, expressive language is the formulation of thoughts that are expressed using the appropriate word or combination of words.
 Well, I hope that clears up the differences for everyone!

Again, please consult with your child's Speech-Language Pathologist to determine some apps that may be beneficial to your child. Here are just some of the apps that I use with the children I work with ages birth-3.

Here are some of my top picks for expressive language apps. These are in no particular order.
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Sound Touch by SoundTouch

Sound Touch is one of my all time favorite apps and it keeps getting better with each new update. There are 6 different categories, such as animals, vehicles, birds, and musical instruments. In each category,  there are 12 different pictures of items within that category. For example, in animals there are 12 different animals and each time you touch an animal it will state its name and a picture of that animal will pop open. It is great for teaching toddlers to associate pictures of objects to their sounds/names.

From iTunes:
Simplicity is the key to a successful app for children. For the younger ones, even swiping can get a little tricky. Sound Touch relies only on taps, making it super easy for little fingers to navigate.

The app opens right to the activity, without a main menu. It’s broken into 6 categories, which are shown at the bottom of the screen as pictures – animals, wild animals, wild birds, vehicles, musical-instruments and household. Each page has 12 items displayed with bright, cute cartoon items. Tap a picture, and a real life photo of the item pops open, accompanied by the sound it makes. Tap the picture anywhere, and it disappears.

Playing around with the app, you'll discover something even cooler – each item has not one, but 5 real pictures and sounds! Bringing up something new every time you tap is a great way to keep kids’ attention. The photos are great, as is the sound quality of the recordings. 

$3.99 (iPad/iPhone)             FREE (Lite version)      $4.99 (Full version)
          Get it on Google Play          Get it on Google Play

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ABA Flash Cards - Actions by

This app helps children develop expressive language, new vocabulary and comprehension/receptive language. There are over 200 action photos of children demonstrating varied activities. You can target having your child verbally label each action or identify the action upon command. A lot of possibilities within this app.

 From iTunes:
Flash cards are vital in helping children develop expressive and receptive language skills, master new vocabulary and strengthening comprehension.’s Action Flash Card set offers 200 clear, concrete action photos of children demonstrating various actions presented against a non-distracting white background.

Top features of our apps:

-Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
-200 clear, colorful, concrete images
-Item selection allows you to choose your own targets
-Option to turn the flash card label ON or OFF to quiz the user
-Data tracking discretely keeps track of correct/incorrect answers
-Data recording you can email to parents, teachers, therapists
-Optional timer for fluency practice
-Option to turn the audio ON or OFF
-Option to turn the item description feature ON or OFF
-Option to shuffle flash cards or show in alphabetical order
-Option to choose randomized reinforcement

$1.99 (iPad/iPhone)

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Bitsboard by Grasshopper Apps

This is a flashcard app that is amazing. With access to over 100, 000 images, you can create your own boards. You can work with you boards as flashcards or in a picture identification task. You can also use it to spell words or create sentences. You will be amazed at all the possibilities.

From iTunes:
• Access to the Bitsboard catalog including tens of thousands of gorgeous flashcards and carefully curated lessons covering hundreds of topics.
• Bitsboard is ideal for learning languages, mastering vocabulary, learning to read, learning to speak, becoming the next spelling champion and so much more…
• Bitsboard is fully customizable to meet your specific learning needs


Game 1. Flashcards - 10,000+ free flash cards, fully customizable settings
Game 2. Explore - Review all flashcards at once. Awesome study mode
Game 3. Photo Touch - Can you spot the right item? Play and learn at the same time

* More games are available through in-app purchases.

FREE (iPad Only)

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Injini:Child Development Game Suite by NCSOFT

I realize that this app is expensive but it is worth the price, if you need a great app for the early childhood population. It is targeted specifically for toddlers with cognitive, language and fine-motor delays. It has ten beautiful games and each game is leveled. Being leveled allows you to customize the appropriate level to fit the needs of your child. It is a very useful app for early intervention.

From iTunes:
Developed by experts and endorsed by parents and teachers, Injini’s collection of learning games offers meaningful play to young children, especially toddlers and preschoolers with cognitive, language, and fine motor delays. The games contain an extraordinary wealth of content: 10 feature games with 90 puzzles, over 100 beautiful illustrations, 8 farm-themed mini-games and more. Injini is ideally suited for early intervention - it brings fun to learning and at the same time practices children’s fine motor and language skills, understanding of cause and effect, spatial awareness, memory and visual processing.

Inspired by children with special needs, Injini's game developers worked for two years with parents, early childhood educators, and occupational, speech, and cognitive experts to create superior play-based learning experiences that help young children reach developmental milestones. The games were designed for and tested with children with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and various developmental delays, as well as typically developing preschoolers - they love it too!

$29.99 (iPad Only)

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This is just a short list of some of my favorite apps for addressing expressive language in my speech therapy sessions. What do you guys think? Would you like to see more posts focusing on specific apps for use on certain speech sounds or early intervention apps? Please comment and let me know what you would like to see in future posts related to speech-language concerns.


Andrea H is a Speech-Language Pathologist but she continues to say "sarry", instead of the "sorry" that she hears most of her fellow Americans say, in tribute to her Canadian roots.

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