RRRRRacing toward good speech?

Okay…that’s a little cliche and I admit it…

Okay…that’s a LOT cliche…but there’s a reason.

I had the privilege of reviewing a new up-and-coming app prior to it being released and I’m here to share my thoughts with you regarding it.

The people at Complete Speech have created a new app called Speech Racer Lite. (For those who have read my reviews before, I reviewed another app of theirs called Vowel Viz a while ago.)  Speech Racer provides biofeedback for each R word said.

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Speech Racer Lite is designed to give students a “fun, interactive way to practice ‘RRR’ sounds.”

This is the Lite version – the full version will be released in August. The full version will have self-scoring, over 300 flashcards with visual cues, and the ability to customize R targets in different positions, including blends.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

It looks as though the app is well thought out and full of detail. I wasn’t able to access some of the elements as they are reserved for the full version (which isn’t available yet). However, they seem to have thought about everything important.

Word lists include Initial, Medial, and Final R words (over 300 flashcards!)  I REALLY like that they have the R Blends and post-vocalic /r/ separated into their own words (to me this is critical for a good /r/ app).

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There will be four activities av available in the full version.

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The Lite version has two activities available. These are both meters that show how accurate the R production was. The student is directed to prolong the R to make it a bit more noticeable (more on this later). The meter will then flash up to the “rating.”

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In the first one, a poor /r/ sound will result in a red light…an approximate /r/ sound will result in a yellow light, and a good /r/ will result in the green light and running lights being illuminated. The lights stay illuminated until the record button is pushed again.

In the second meter, the meter goes from Red (empty) to Green (full) based on the quality of the R.

I can see the benefit of the biofeedback for R as it can be very tricky for kids to master self-monitoring. Having the immediate feedback helps with correct placement and recognizing what it is that the student had to do to get that /r/.

My only concern is that it doesn’t necessarily facilitate a “true” /r/ in that it does need to be slightly exaggerated to be picked up by the device. However, that is a minimal concern and similar to producing an exaggerated /s/ and then shaping it into a true /s/…an exaggerated /r/ is fairly easy to shape into a true /r/ once they get the feel for the position and develop the self-awareness.

Overall, I think this app has some potential. I’ve been a fan of Vowel Viz for a while now, but I can see many of the students on my caseload responding better to this than Vowel Viz. I know I’m excited to try it with them and I’m definitely looking forward to the full version.

Be sure to check out Speech Racer here and check out Complete Speech here.

So…let me know. Do you think you can see a need for Speech Racer Lite in your future?

Until then….Adventure on!

Mary

Disclaimer: I was provided with a code for Speech Racer Lite; however, the review and thoughts are entirely my own.

Milestones? Nah…why bother!

Happy Better Hearing and Speech Month! This post has been sort of percolating for a while and with Better Hearing and Speech Month’s focus on early intervention and the recent influx of new grads it seems relevant.

Recently, while speaking with many of my SLP friends on twitter, some expressed distress that articulation norms are so often misunderstood or misused. I wanted to write a post about it a few weeks ago and prudence dictated I wait until I wasn’t quite so…frustrated.

Then, a couple days ago, I had the distinct pleasure of reading a post on the way language milestones are often misunderstood. That post, from Teach me to Talk, is available here. I have to say, I honestly hadn’t considered how language milestones are interpreted…but it’s absolutely true they are misunderstood or maybe ignored much the way articulation norms are misused.

But it really drove home how we tend to view milestones or normative charts not as how they were meant to be used – but how they best work in our favor. Continue reading

musings…and random thoughts

I read a lot of different articles. Most are research based, peer-reviewed articles. Some are research based…sort of, but not peer reviewed…some are just interesting.

I recently came across one regarding critical thinking…and it caused me to … you know…THINK

…critically. Actually, if I’m honest…

Continue reading

How does your articulation assessment measure up?

It’s hard to believe it’s March…and time for Research Tuesday (again!). I remember being in grad school (or maybe undergrad) and doing a group project on articulation assessments. We were split into groups (or we split ourselves into groups, I don’t remember), and we were required to study an assigned articulation assessment, determine validity, specificity, etc… and critique the administration, picture stimuli, results, etc. It was an interesting assignment. I remember making the power point for it, and I remember talking with the Dean of the department and telling him I wanted to update the test we had (it was horribly out of date), and he said that’d be a great thesis or dissertation project. LOL. Too bad, I can’t remember the name of the test now (I could go look it up, but it’d take too much energy.)

Anyway…When I came upon today’s article, it reminded me of that assignment…and I thought it was important to review. So, without further adieu I bring you Research Tuesday! Continue reading

Have you Yapp Guru’d?

Also known as Yapp Guru and the March Madness!

Back in September 2014, I wrote a blog post regarding Yapp Guru. You can view it here.

Since then…Yapp Guru has been emerging even more on the horizon of all things speech-language pathology and special needs related.  Still not convinced?

Yapp Guru Expert Reviewer

Yapp Guru Expert Reviewer

Let me see if I can help. Continue reading

Adventures in Advocacy

Mary Huston, MS, CCC-SLP:

I think it’s time to brush off these cobwebs. I’m considering presenting on the continued need for SLPs to advocate for their students and their sanity.

Originally posted on Speech Adventures:

Advocacy…Advocacy…who has the Advocacy…

Also known as 7 Habits of the Burnt-Out SLP

Alternately known as 10 Ways to Dump an SLP …

paperwork  Affectionately known as Who has a Life? I have Reports to Write…

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