The iPhone has changed the world in many tangible ways. Apps are available to help people diet, do their bills, or catch up on reading classic novels. A new batch of iPhone apps have been developed with a more noble cause…to help children learn to speak. Speech pathologists report that these iPhone apps are far more engaging than the traditional methods, which means that their patients are experiencing greater success more quickly. The key to most of the speech therapy apps is that the kids have fun while they are practicing their speech, making them want to succeed for themselves, not just for the praise of the therapist.
Created by Practicing Speech Pathologists
Most of the speech therapy apps on today’s market were developed by licensed speech pathologists who were looking for new ways to work with their younger patients. The iPhone apps are created with specific speech pathology goals in mind, and the pathologists worked to make sure the levels were attainable without being too frustrating. The games can be configured to target the specific phonemes and consonant blends that are the most challenging for the child. The game scores can be used by a speech pathologist to create a tangible record of the patient’s progress as the patient moves through the different levels of the games.
Voice Controlled Games Increase Speech Clarity
Most speech therapy apps are voice operated. The user must speak a word clearly enough for the phone to understand so that they can continue on to the next part of the game. Children who might have become bored or frustrated with pronouncing the same word repeatedly now try more often when there is a clear reward from the game for getting it right. As the children gain new levels in the game, their speech gains better articulation.
Electronic Games are Attention Grabbers
One of the most exciting things about these interactive speech therapy games is that they grab a child’s attention and keep it for long periods of time. Speech pathologists have been frustrated with a child’s normal tendency to lose focus during a short session. The apps are created with cartoon characters and other child-friendly elements that make them feel like fun to the children rather than work. A child’s tendency to want to play the games more often can also help the child develop the motor skills faster through the increased practice time.
Gaining in Online Popularity
Speech therapy apps are catching on all over the country as well. There are even specific websites dedicated to the genre. The sites offer reviews of new games and links to purchase or download hundreds of speech therapy apps on your own. Some of the apps available are geared toward the speech therapists themselves, but the majority are meant to be played by younger patients who need to work on their pronunciation skills outside of therapy. Sites contain news about speech therapy and new iphone apps, as well as resources for other gadgets and games that parents and therapists might be interested in using with younger patients. These tools are making speech therapy a much more rewarding career for therapists everywhere as they see their kids progress faster and having fun doing it.