Thursday, April 3, 2014

Did you say GIVEAWAY? Yep, and a review of Smarty Ears iName it App too!

What is something that we can't seem to have enough of at our speech clinic?  Functional apps, that's what! That is why we were excited to find out about Smarty Ears app named, iName it and to complete a review about it for you!  In order to review it properly, we tried this app out with several clients at the speech clinic and we are now back with our results to share with everyone. 

 We hope you enjoy reading about iName it.  When you are done reading the review, please don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end.  The winner of the Rafflecopter giveaway will be granted one free iName it app to use in their own therapy rooms.  Wonderful news, huh?!  Good luck and thanks so much for coming by Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC today to read about the Smarty Ears app named iName it! 

Here we go: 
This is the cover page of the app.  We like it because it is where we can easily access a video tutorial on how to use the app and other support.  In addition, we think it is professional looking and appropriate for the aphasic adults that we tried this app out with. Our first impression of the iName it app was that it would be a very appropriate app to use with our clients whom are experiencing expressive aphasia. Currently we have two clients coming to the clinic who have recently experienced cerebrovascular accidents (CVA's). A CVA/stroke is defined as a lack of oxygen to an area of the brain. Unfortunately, the strokes have affected their ability to express themselves without error and to initiate speech and they have both been diagnosed with expressive aphasia.  

Expressive aphasia defined: 
The loss of the ability to produce language.  It occurs in approximately 12% of new cases of aphasia caused by a stroke and in most cases, it is caused by a stroke in the Broca's are of the brain. 

It's easy to get started with using the iName it app.  Just click on "Start Practice" from the front page and then "New" that is found on the second page shown.  From there, add a name and a client photo from your iPad photo library, and/or Avatar photo that is provided from a choice list. This app was designed for only one user to use at a time.

Next you will see the room choices of a bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom, and garage.  Side note inserted here-  Oh how we want this house! It is just beautiful, new and modern looking.  Can we move in? ha! 

OK, back to the review... :) Click on one of the rooms shown and you will be taken to it.  The room that you have chosen will contain 10 targeted items to name.  This is where the functionality of this app is shown! What could be more functional than working on naming actual items found in a person's living environment?  I'm talking about the items that you see and use every day of your life.  Well, of course, the benefit of learning to name these items would increase caregiver/family communication breakdowns tremendously.  The 50 functional items targeted in this app are all clearly shown, appropriate for speech practice and will increase your client's ability to communicate effectively with loved ones.

After choosing the bedroom you will find that a beautiful colored version of the bedroom will be shown. It is from here that you should tap on one of the ten items that are shown.  The item that gets selected remains in color while the rest of the bedroom becomes less obvious because it gets grayed out. This is a nice feature, as it makes the background items less obvious and distracting while the client works on naming the targeted item shown up in front of the screen. 

If the client can name the item without clues, than great!  Just click on the green check button that is shown at the upper right hand corner of the page and go on to the next item.  If the client has trouble naming it, than click on this a blue button and prompts will be displayed at the bottom of the screen that are common "clues" that some people need in order to produce the word verbally.  

Here is a picture of the prompts that our clients needed the most in order to successfully name the objects shown: phonemic (first part of the word shown), semantic (a definition was given), phrase completion ( put the clothes in the___), and whole word (the word was shown: dresser). Using the clues options are a great way to elicit success with naming tasks.  Some clients only need one little clue in order to successfully get the word out and this kind of advice is good to share with their family members and caregivers.  For instance, we may tell the caregiver to be careful to not just name the item for their loved one, but to just give them the initial sound of the object in order for the loved one to name it themselves. We believe that is much nicer for the client to name the item given a small clue than it is for the caregiver to just provide the answer, as this does not give the client any chance to work on "exercising" their naming skills.  Giving the "answers" per say, will only reduce the opportunity to stimulate the brain area that needs to be exercised in order to make new neural pathways and to overall increase verbal naming skills.  In our opinions, the client who has the opportunity to work hard and to do more of the naming task on their own will recover more quickly. 

Here is a picture of the data that has been collected while using the app. We have clicked on "Data report" and the date that we have used the app, the overall accuracy of naming with or without cues, and the type of cues used were displayed.  The collected data is terrific to have for charting progress and for reporting status results to the client and for inputting in their daily and monthly progress notes.  The reports can be printed out, emailed and exported to other places like a drop box.  

In summary:
We loved using this app with our clients who are struggling to name objects as a result of the strokes that they had unfortunately experienced.  We were able to witness a lot of naming success that was quick and independent and/or done with the provided cueing techniques that were offered in the app on each page.  We do believe that this also would be a perfect and wonderful addition to any therapy room that needs to help advance the verbal expression skills of their aphasic clients.  

With that said, we also wanted to make sure that we mentioned how we both also work with children of all ages and we did use this app with some of them lately too!   We were able to work on increasing their vocabulary skills and their naming skills of functional objects that are found in their environments.  We were also able to easily go beyond the therapy task of naming to other language based therapy tasks too.  For instance, we worked on category item naming with one student.  We asked, "Can you think of three more items that you see in a bedroom that you don't see in this picture".  We worked on overall verbal expression with another student by asking that student to develop their own sentence using the picture named.  The student responded, "The boy plays chess with his Dad".  Finally, we also worked on advancing language skills by asking another student to describe the object and to provide the use for the object shown.  This helped to increase his use of adjectives and object functions. 

This professionally made app is a wonderful tool for advancing the verbal expression skills of a large variety of clients.  We would highly recommend that you purchase it yourself and give it a try.  We both believe that the pictures and clues shown will improve your clients ability to name useful and functional objects that are typically found in their home environments. 

The iName It app currently sells for $14.99. You can download a copy of this app in the iTunes store here.

Please don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway in order to try to win your own FREE copy!  

Best wishes,
Manda & Shanda, SLPs
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC

Please know: Smarty Ears provided us with a free copy of the app for the above review.  All of the opinions provided on this review are our own and result from the actual use of the app in a therapeutic context. 


Valerie said...

I would use this app to address vocabulary and wh- questions with many of my speech/language students.

Kristen B said...

This looks like a great app that I could use with my students with autism who are working on expanding their expressive and receptive vocabularies. Context is so important for these kids and this app looks like it provides a very vivid context!

Mary said...

This app looks great for all of my kids: the language ones & my artic kids who are on or are close to being on carryover.

annied said...

I would use this app for older students with word retrieval difficulties, but also for increasing functional vocabulary for kids with apraxia.


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