There are so many apps out there today that I’m starting to feel as though computer software will become obsolete soon! I am very appreciative of all the hard work that must go into creating apps that make my life as a private speech-language pathologist so much easier! Recently, I had the pleasure and honor of reviewing iPrompts Pro, by HandHold Adaptive, which is a fine example of an app that will help me reduce a significant amount of time creating choice boards, social stories, and schedules for my clients with communication needs. This app offers the following menu: Picture Library, Schedules, Countdown, Choices, Stories, Academy, Video Prompts, VoiceMatch, and VoiceChart.
The picture library contains 35 folders with hundreds of images, plus you can load more pictures from your photo library or quickly add photos using Google, Bing, or Flickr. These images can be used to create schedules, countdowns, choices, and stories.
First, I created a schedule to help one of my young, private clients gain more independence with self-care/dressing skills. In my story, I used actual images so each step could be clearly understood. When a step is completed, you can check the box on the right. You may also show just one image at a time if seeing all the steps at once is too distracting.
Next, I created some visual countdowns for use in my private speech-language sessions. This feature allows you to load an image along with the countdown timer so clients can clearly see how much time is left on a particular task. Since it can be hard to say goodbye to Play dough, I uploaded this image with a timer. It is not necessary to use an image with a countdown timer. Instead, you can use an hourglass with a green square prompt to signify “go.” Timers can be set anywhere from 1-120 minutes and adjusted for 15, 30, or 45 seconds. You can also quickly use the presets for 1, 2, 5, or 10 minutes.
One of my favorite features is the choices link. Here you can load up to six picture images on one screen to easily create choice boards and save yourself paper, laminating sheets, Velcro, and time! I created play choices using images from Google. When you tap an image it not only highlights the picture but also triggers your voice recording.
The app also comes with a pre-loaded story about brushing teeth, which can be found in the Story link. You can also create your own stories using the picture library and Google, Bing, or Flickr links. Simply add images and type your own text: Perfect for writing personalized social stories. As you read through the story, pages turn like a book.
Speaking of social stories, iPrompts Pro includes a link to an Academy that has a step by step resource book to teach you how to write an effective social story! The chapters are as follows:
Social Stories by Carol Gray
Two Step Discovery
Three Parts and a Title, FOURmat, and Nine Makes it Nine
Five Factors Determine Voice and Vocabulary
Six Questions and Seven Sentence Types
A Gr-Eight Formula
Ten Guides to Editing and Implementation
Yet another teaching resource is the Video Prompt feature with quick clips of children demonstrating school and social behaviors from asking to play a game to end a conversation. There are 31 pre-programmed video clips and you have the capability to load your own videos too!
Finally, if you tap on the “More” link on the menu bar; you are brought to a screen that includes both VoiceChart and VoiceMatch in addition to the help links for the app. Here’s what the developers say about these two features:
VoiceChart – Like a “voice thermometer,” VoiceChart provides real-time feedback on the loudness of speech. Speakers are shown visually whether they are “Too Loud,” “Too Quiet,” or “Just Right”. Sliders allow customization of the thresholds between each volume zone. An animated meter and graphics change based on the current volume level.
VoiceMatch provides visual and aural feedback on stress, rate, and rhythm of speech by comparing a “Teacher” voice recording to a “Student” voice recording. The Student voice sample is compared both visually (via a waveform graphic) and aurally (via audio playback) to the Teacher recording, which serves as a target or model phrase. The Student attempts to “match” the Teacher waveform by repeating it aloud. Visual differences between the two audio recordings can then be highlighted (e.g., point to the differences on the screen and discuss).”
I included several images with this review of items that I created using iPrompts Pro. Schedules, choices, and stories can be emailed as a PDF, and then forwarded to other caregivers or printed from a computer. In the short time that I have had access to this app, I have already seen how invaluable it is to my speech and language practice. You can find this all-inclusive app at iTunes for $99.99 and save money by purchasing this bundle as opposed to buying a few apps individually.
About the Author
Nanette Cote, MA, CCC-SLP has her own speech-language practice, Therapediatrics. She is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in Naperville, Illinois who was has been practicing Speech Pathology for close to two decades. Her blog, speech2me, was named one of the top Speech-Language blogs for 2012. For more information about this practitioner, please visit speech2me Blog or Facebook