Using iPads for speech, language and communication: ideas for SLTs and teachers
Many of these app ideas could be used for any child to develop their speech and language skills, while others are more targeted at children with speech, language and communication needs.
These ideas have come about by trial and error in my work in both mainstream nursery and primary schools and in a primary/secondary special school but can be adapted for a range of ages and language levels.
Using iPads in language and communication group activities:
Apps to inspire group storytelling activities in the classroom. Apps which give children ideas for narrative e.g. pictures and sounds.
Ten speech therapy activities which can be enhanced using an iPad. Ideas for activities from PCI to oro-motor assessments.
Using iPads interactively to develop communication. Video and list of apps from Therapy Ideas Talk 18.03.15.
Functional language activities using art and craft apps. Ideas for using colouring, drawing and craft apps.
Functional language activities using cooking and food apps. Apps on the topic of food and cooking which you can adapt for different group activities.
Apps for speech work and dysarthria. Apps which can brighten up therapy and assessment sessions for voice, speech and dysarthria.
Using photos and videos. Ideas for communication group activities which don’t require any apps.
Puppet Pals. You can develop narrative skills at a range of levels by creating a mini-movie using your own photos, cartoon characters or a weird and wonderful mix.
Story Creator. Developing sequencing and narrative skills by taking photos of an activity or event and talking about it afterwards.
Sound Touch Lite. Working on attention skills by listening to sounds and identifying the picture.
Using videos. Developing use of WH questions by taking videos of everyday scenarios and using as a basis for discussion.
Using iPads with children with ASD:
Promoting peer interaction among children with Autism. Using games which involve two players to encourage students to ask another person to join in.
Sensory apps. A list of my favourite sensory apps and how to use them to support children with autism to initiate communication using PECs.
ASD timer and Sand Timer. Useful for supporting children with autism to understand when they can use the iPad and when to share.
Verbs with Milo. Using this app to assess knowledge of expressive language – in particular, verbs.
Say Hi AAC! Setting up key word understanding assessments in an easy to use format for informal use.
App ideas for 1-1 therapy:
Wonderkind apps. Interactive apps of town, zoo and country scenes which can be used to support and assess spontaneous language among younger children
My PlayHome. Developing early language skills using this interactive home environment. Ideas for developing receptive and expressive language.
Sago Mini Music Box. Developing early language skills by commenting on the musical scene.
Autorap. Developing vocabulary skills by using a automatic rap generating app.
Using iPads for functional use at school:
Connecting the iPad to the classroom whiteboard using AirServer so that it can be accessed by a whole class at once.