Rumor has it that March is National Reading Month, so my reviews this month will be based on two reading apps by Smarty Ears. The first summary is about Reading RehabilitationToolkit. This app was designed by a speech-language pathologist to improve reading ability in adults with reading difficulties. The visuals used in Reading Toolkit are actual photos of objects which best suits adult clients.
The greatest thing about this toolkit is that it is highly customizable! There are nine categories to choose from including actions, animals, body parts, clothing, colors, food, numbers, objects, and transport. You can also select how many pictures you would like to be shown per item. If you need to work on articulation, you can add this to game play by selecting, "Prompt for Voice Recording." It even allows you to activate automatically increasing complexity if the client is successful! Automatic Advance allows you to move immediately to the next item without having to hit the "Next" button. This feature keeps the game moving forward, but you may want to switch off "Automatic Advance" if you need to take some time to discuss responses. As if all of these options weren't enough, you get one more edit! When you tap the "Edit Exercises" link, you are brought to a list of items in each of the nine categories. If you want, you can remove items here from gameplay.
There are six activities in this app, four of which are matching tasks, one simple comprehension, and one phrase word order. I practiced all levels at home, but could not give these activities a try with adult clients since I currently service pediatrics. Having worked in the hospital and rehabilitative settings, I could see Reading Toolkit being helpful for those recovering from a stroke. It is a great resource for home programming if the client has access to an iPad. Overall, Reading Toolkit appears to cover all the bases to support adult reading rehabilitation.
Here's what the developers have to say about the app:
Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit provides over three hundred pictures organized into semantic categories. The words or categories can be individually selected or eliminated. The activities automatically increase difficulty level based on the patient’s response.
Customizing the activities to the patient’s level increases the chances of success. The application allows users to select how many items are displayed per screen and how specific each exercise should be. Users can also choose to have the application automatically increase the difficulty level, as the patient becomes successful with the tasks presented. It is also possible to select or de-select any specific word or image on any of the six activities.
The Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit makes use of one of the most advanced data tracking systems on adult rehabilitation applications. Each activity has its own visual graph, this way users can track and monitor progress as they use the app.
The Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit allows therapists to track the data for each patient. The customizable report can be emailed, printed, or exported to the Therapy Report Center application. The application does not include audio because it was designed to serve as a reading exercise rather than as an auditory comprehension exercise.
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 page