It is estimated that approximately 10% of kindergarteners will receive a diagnosis of a speech/language delay each year. To aid in this delay, many work with certified speech-language pathologists, but why not practice these skills outside of therapy? The App Store offers countless apps for individuals with speech delays, but I wanted to highlight a handful so you don’t feel too overwhelmed!
5 Apps for Speech Delays
1. Minimal Pairs Academy
First up is the Minimal Pairs Academy (MPA) which is a “state-of-the-art evidence-based minimal pairs app for speech-language pathologists and parents of children with phonological sound disorders.” It targets the 23 most common phonological processes through 2 activities: auditory production and discrimination.
Features of Minimal Pairs Academy:
- Over 900 words in 23 different pairs
- Total of 4 different activities:
- Auditory bombardment:
- In this activity, children are introduced to a variety of words with auditory and visual information about their meaning.
- Auditory discrimination:
- In this activity, children are asked to discriminate between sounds when selecting a target word.
- Phrase completion:
- Here, children are presented a phrase and they must select a target imagae to complete the phrase.
- In this activity, children are presented with the target image; speech-language therapists have the option to display the pair in case children have difficulty producing target word.
- Auditory bombardment:
- App offers data-tracking capabilities
- Overall data/session
- Graph of progress overtime
- Overall student stats such as time in therapy, age, processes practiced and mastered.
2. Puppet Pals Theatre
Puppet Pals Theatre is a fun (and free!) app for children with speech delays. The game allows children to create their own theatre where they get to choose scenery and characters. Once they’ve selected their characters, they record their voice for each character. (It’s beneficial for children to hear their own voice and how they pronounce words and sounds.)
Features of Puppet Pals Theatre:
- Create a character from a photo
- Use photo as backdrop for stories
- Offers themed character packages while other options and audio recordings give children more creativity
- You can help children record the correct pronunciations so they learn the proper way to say words or letters
3. Language Empires
Language Empires was developed by two speech-language pathologists and utilizes an exciting, ancient civilization theme to guide elementary-age children on learning specific language targets. It’s designed to cover 8 goals: answering why, how, and which questions, inferencing, vocabulary, predicting and figurative language, and sequencing.
Features of Language Empires:
- Targets 8 different goals
- Multiplayer (up to 5 students can play simultaneously)
- Data-tracking capabilities
- Can be emailed or saved on iBooks
- High-quality audio for each inquiry
- Settings can be adjusted to meet unique student needs
- Visual and auditory feedback on all questions
4. Language Adventures
The free version of Language Adventures features 36 questions in 6 game activities. (More questions can be downloaded via in-app purchases). The Language Adventures app engages students in a “contextual language intervention experience on the iPad.” The ultimate goal is to enhance students’ comprehension, semantic connections and increase their vocabulary.
Features of Language Adventures:
- Features many game basics (e.g. rolling dice, player selection, token moving)
- Three levels of difficulty appropriate for elementary through high school students
- Ability to save students’ targets and progress over repeated plays.
Match2Say was developed by a speech-language pathologist and is a matching activity for individuals who have difficulty producing particular sounds. When children play this app, they have fun saying the words and improving their articulation skills at the same time.
- Each deck of cards represents specific sounds
- Sounds are organized by initial/medial/final
- Audio recording for all images with different voice characters
- Over 1,500 images
- Compatible with all iOS devices