I recently took advantage of a fabulous sale during the American Speech Hearing Association’s (ASHA) annual conference in November and bought Nancy Kaufman’s Speech to Language protocol (K-SLp) Treatment Kit 1, Basic Level. Briefly, these cards display a vibrant visual image for a word target and a step by step sound- syllable breakdown that helps children with motor speech delays successfully achieve word productions. While this deck is perfect for some of my older, elementary aged clients, I needed something for my younger, preschool ones who use sign language as a primary means of communication. Luckily, I noticed a flyer at the ASHA conference about Sign to Talk by Northern Speech Services. I was thrilled when I learned that the same company that publishes the K-SLp kit also offers an app that bridges signing to vocalization for children who are not yet showing comprehension for picture images alone. The added benefit to the app is that you can view a video clip of someone signing the target word and see the step by step sound-syllable breakdown too!
You basically get two apps in one with the Sign to Talk App. First, the Signing Zone tab brings you to 12 category choices: actions, breakfast, candy and desserts, drinks, electronics, fruits, lunch and dinner, objects, school supplies, snacks, toys, and utensils. There are a total of 190 everyday objects and actions to choose from within these categories. I really like having this tab on my iPad so I can quickly and easily look up sign demonstrations for my clients. One thing that I would really like to see in a future update is the ability to add new ASL signs. The other link in the Sign to Talk App is Therapy Zone. When you follow this link, you get a dynamic visual image for a target word, sound-syllable breakdown, and the option to view a video clip of a signing demonstration. This is a perfect starting point for my young, preschool clients who are familiar with signs, but not as adept with comprehension for visual picture images. Having the sign language demonstration linked with an already widely used, successfully speech program: The K-SLp is wonderful!
Using the pre-loaded target words and images, you can create student accounts, and collect, track, and email data. The only downfall with the data collection is that your client won’t get credit for a production unless he or she reaches the highest target level. However, the app does track both improvements and regressions by listing the target words in each column, not the level. The app does retain the highlighted image of the sound-syllable level on the target card from the previous test. Overall, I like the Sign to Talk App and think that with a few updates, it is worth the nominal expense.
Here’s what the developers have to say about the Sign to Talk App:
“Ideal for children who are not yet vocal imitators, this engaging app provides a bridge from signing to vocal communication. It comes loaded with strategies developed by Tamara Kasper, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA, and Nancy Kaufman, MA, CCC-SLP, to assist speech-language pathologists in improving articulation and functional communication.
Further, it provides a method for speech-language pathologists to share progress and guide and monitor practice sessions provided by parents and other professionals.
Features ASL signs. Available for iPad.”
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