Thursday, April 4, 2013

APRAXIA VILLE App Giveaway and Review!

Today we are reviewing the app called Apraxia Ville.  It was designed by speech-language pathologists and is sold by Smarty Ears.  The app is available in the iTunes store for the price of $21.99 at this time. This fun farm themed app was designed to help children with childhood apraxia of speech and other severe speech-sound disorders. Apraxia Ville provides video modeling of consonants and vowels, word targets by syllable structure (CV, VC & CVC), customization of targets, and progress monitoring.  It has a lot!

After reading about this app, please enter the contest to win a free one via Rafflecopter.  Good Luck!!

How to Play
Apraxia Ville can be used with one student or up to four players at one time.  Multiple students can work on different targets on the same screen!  The players can be imported into the app from the Smarty Ears Therapy Report Center (separate free app for keeping track of student performance on all of Smarty Ears apps), or the therapist can enter the player individually on the home screen.

Apraxia Ville has three therapy screen areas.  One area is the, The Sound Windows (sound production), the second is, The Farm House (single word production), and the third screen area is, The Words Farm (multiple word production). The student can work on varying degrees of verbal productions in each of these above mentioned areas.  The degrees of complexity range from the animated phoneme production in the Sound Windows to the multiple word picture level in The Words Farm.

Please click on the video tutorial below to see exactly how to use this wonderful app. We think that it will be the best way for you to learn about the app if you are a visual learner.  It is descriptive and each aspect of the app is explained clearly.


The first activity in this app is the Sound Windows.  To us, it's a bit like presenting colored therapy cards for a direct therapy like session approach. Two barn windows are shown.  One window has a boy and the other window has a girl on it.  The boy avatar produces the consonants while the female avatar produces the vowels. When the avatars are pressed, the student can see and hear the productions of the consonants or vowels. This gives the student the opportunity to then try to produce what they have seen or heard. We found ourselves also providing the visual and verbal models for each child during this activity.We should note that we primarily used this app with our speech students who were under the age of four and several of them benefit from the maximum amount of cues in order for us to elicit correct productions.  
This is a picture from the second level, The Farm House.  This area allows one to four students at a time to work on producing their sounds and words.  The photo of the student or the chosen avatar of the student is displayed in the barn windows. The therapist has the ability to set the targeted CV & VC or CVC words by choosing them from a list (explained below a bit more).  Choose between two levels. Level 1 focuses on CV & VC sound combos and Level 2 targets the CVC words. It is after that when the word or sound is shown in the barn doorway and the child is asked to produce it. The productions of each student can be tracked by pressing the green, yellow, and red buttons on the roof of the barn. Recording of the student productions is also possible by pressing the record button at the start of the verbalization.  Recording features are often a favorite function of our students. They love to hear their cute voices being played back on the iPad device.

The therapist has the ability to modify the word pool by clicking on "Settings" after choosing a player. At the word pool page just click on the targeted sounds and the cv, vc, cvc words that you would like to have show up during the therapy session.  Choose from 12 consonant groups and 10 vowels.The ability to check on your custom made words also exists at this screen.  

From this screen homework sheets for the student can be accessed. This is a very cool feature of this app!  Just click on homework, select the homework file sound and cv, vc, or cvc word list that you would like to print out for the child too take home. The colorful Apraxia Ville homework sheet will can be sent to your email or printed out on your AirPrint printer. 

Homework sheet example shown here.  Pretty cool, huh?!
The third activity in the Apraxia Ville app is, The Words Farm and its focus is on practicing sets of words.  Colorful pictures containing the words and phonemes chosen for each student are presented in two different windows located below cute farm animals. Users can hear the words in the group pronounced correctly by pressing on the green play button. They are also able to record and playback their own production for self-monitoring and to receive therapy session data at the end of the session if needed.
Pro's List:
+  We're loving the fun farm theme.  We saw the eyes of our little one's just light up when we presented the pictures of the barn and animals. Kids love farm animals!
+ We think that the cv and cvc word lists are terrific and hard to come by.
+ The words that are presented are age appropriate for the little ones and that makes the app functional.
+  We loved the presentation of all of the early speech sounds because they are the sounds that we want to target with the population that we would use this app with.
+ Just the very fact that this app targets apraxia is a plus.  Apraxia apps and therapy materials are hard to find and we are always looking for ways to add to our speech therapy tool box for this area.
+ We think that the video tutorial and helpful links back to Smarty Ears support is helpful and easily obtained.  A great supportive feature for app purchasers!
+ We loved the option of being able to work on the isolated sounds.  This is needed in early therapy phases.
+ We love the homework pages that can be brought up for each student and this cool feature is one of our most favorite things about this app and makes it unique.
+ We of course love the report summaries and the ability to use the Smarty Ears reporting center app to compile information for all of our students using all of the Smarty Ears apps.  Who doesn't love that?!
Con's List:
- We both agreed that the avatar children photos used to say the sounds were too small and that makes it hard for the students to see the productions.  We think that the use of a real faces would be ideal and most helpful. Also, it would be nice if the productions could be seen in a larger context.
- Our little kids kept pushing the pictures and were hoping for more to happen after their word or sound was shown.  This direct style of therapy of just showing pictures and not asking for any other type of interaction looses the interests of our youngest clients quite quickly. Maybe some type of game or reward sticker could be added to this app to make it more motivating for the real little ones?
- The option to be able to choose an end consonant would be terrific.

A quick summary:
Apraxia Ville is a wonderful new resource to use when working with students who have severe phoneme production difficulties. It offers a variety of levels that can be customized for each and every individual student. Students can see how sounds should be produced by pressing a button, they can even watch and record themselves during the therapy practice session, and that part can be quite motivating!  The app provides some valuable cv, vc, and cvc word lists that are hard to come by and some awesome homework sheets that can be quickly printed off at the end of each practice session.  The report that is generated at the end of the session can also be shared with the student's family or put into your therapy file for a great tracking ability of your student's therapy performance.
Why not go the App Store. today and download Apraxia Ville for yourself?  We think it would help to put some variety into your therapy sessions!  It would particularly be a helpful addition in the treatment sessions for your students with severe phoneme production difficulties. We all need a wide variety of activities to keep children engaged in therapy!

Would you like to win a FREE APRAXIA VILLE APP???? Just enter via Raffelcopter.  Have fun and good luck!
Manda & Shanda, SLP's

Congrats Jana!  You were the winner of the app!  You should be receiving an email today! Manda
We were provided with a copy of this app by Smarty Ears in order to complete this review.
We were not compensated in any other way for the review. Thank you Smarty Ears for giving us this opportunity!


CollKartychak said...

This llooks like a fun App! Thanks for the thorough review

Anonymous said...

would love to win this

Speechville said...

I have several students who could benefit from this app. It's on my WISH list....

Teresa Besson said...

Looks like an app with potential. I have several students that may benefit from use of this app.

Karl Sherrill said...

Love your review and would love to have this in my therapy tool bag!

Melissa and Karl said...

love your review and would love to have this in my therapy tool bag!

Amy Carlton said...

I would LOVE this app! Thank you for the detailed review!

Carrie Walls said...

Looks like a fun app! Sometimes appraxia drills can get boring. Icahn see this app motivating my students!

Carrie Walls said...

Ugh! No spell check and I forgot my email....


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