Disclaimer: VAST provided me with a free copy of this app to review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway.
In the quest to cure my child, I’ve read everything I can get my hands on. At some point over the past fifteen months I’ve learned that visual cues can help a child speak better. I have to admit, at first I was skeptical. What does one have to do with the other and how could seeing something versus just hearing it possibly help?
Now that I’ve got a little bit of apraxia experience under my belt, however, I’m a believer. I’ve come to understand that visual cues are necessary to target and help build the brain pathways that help an apraxic child break through their speech struggles. Based on my own experience, Jake is not going to learn to speak as a neurotypical child would. He can’t hear sentences and mimic them or automatically recall a word from a flash cards.
Different techniques have to be used and I’m so glad SpeakinMotion introduced me to the following two apps: VAST Autism 1-Core and VAST Songs 1-Intro. VAST is proving to be a new and effective speech therapy tool for us and I am so glad we got to try it out.
Here’s what the opening screen of the VAST Autism 1-Core app looks like …
And these are a few of the melodies that are on VAST Songs 1-Intro app …
These apps work on words, phrases, sentences and songs by showing a close-up of a mouth perfectly pronouncing each sound. There is also a mirror option that displays the entire time that allows the child to look at his/her own mouth at any point.
When Jake first saw that mouth covering the iPad screen, he looked up and gave me a sweet and silly giggle, but then he instantly zeroed in on those lips and the words almost magically popped out. Now a month and a half later, he is still enjoying these apps. He has mastered the words and phrases and now he is working on the sentences and songs.
Here’s what I like about these two VAST apps:
- Good for a variety of speech levels – basic to advanced.
- Even if a child is more advanced, the “easy” syllables list is still a good review and a great confidence builder.
- Organized well – once you master a list, you move onto to the next.
- An attainable set of items in each list (10-12) so child doesn’t get bored or burned out.
- Words, phrases, and sentences that every child has heard before and things that they need to be able to say. Examples include: mama, eat, ouch, baby, okay, come here, drink water, I need to use the bathroom.
- Word said once slowly, with a pause afterward for the child to repeat. Then, word said with accurate prosody, with another pause for the child to repeat it a second time.
- Words are written on screen so child also sees how the word(s) are spelled.
To learn more about the VAST Autism 1-Core app click here or for information about the VAST Songs 1-Intro app, click here. You can also visit the SpeakinMotion web site at http://www.speakinmotion.com/.