Disclaimer: SpeechBox 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.
When the developer of SpeechBox contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if Jake and I would like to try out his new app, I was happy to oblige. After all, I am always looking for new and exciting ways to practice words; all this repetition can start wearing on you after a while. Also, I’m a big believer that when it comes to apraxia, you can never have too many activities for your little one to do.
Let me start off by saying that drilling words now versus one year ago are day and night. When Jake was 3 years old quite often he would stand on his head on the couch (or jump on it) as I coaxed each little word out of him. His energy level was off the charts and speech drills needed to be quick, easy, and stimulating.
Today, Jake is 4.6 years old and has been in speech therapy for 2.4 years. I’m happy to report that he really enjoys doing his speech work now. He is cooperative and his focus is excellent. No more ants in his pants! These days, because of his hard work, he is mainly working on sentences.
One thing I really like about SpeechBox is its versatility. It is beneficial for a child just starting out with their first words (including those with high energy) and also the child who is a little more advanced like Jake is now.
SpeechBox has 700 words on it and because of the great pictures, the single words can easily be elaborated into full sentences.
What does Jake like about this app?
- Visually being able to see the words/photos scattered around on the iPad screen so that he knows up-front how many words he’s about to say. Just like my other two boys who are always flipping to the end of a chapter book every couple of minutes to see how many more pages they have left, Jake is the same way with words.
- Control! He likes being able to choose which word he says next, which makes him feel independent. He likes to feel like a big boy and his confidence reflects that.
- Pictures and audio are great.
What do I like about SpeechBox?
- Sounds are in alphabetical order.
- Each sound can be practiced in initial, medial, & final positions.
- Word is visually displayed while audio is played. Kids with apraxia need as much exposure to reading as possible!
- Part of Jake’s speech therapy is looking at a picture and coming up with a sentence for it. Now, I can easily work on this skill at home and have hundreds of pictures to choose from.
- Extra categories are great – body, clothing, colors, farm animals, foods, letters, machines, numbers, and zoo animals.
- A parent to an apraxic child envisioned this app and made it a reality with the help of SLPs.
One of my favorite features on SpeechBox are the customizable pictures with 10 seconds of recordable audio. Also, it’s great that I can type in the words that I say. Visually seeing how words are broken up in a sentence helps Jake considerably with his speech. Here are a few examples that I’ve already uploaded:
- Picture – Jake at the kitchen pantry. / Sentence – “I have food allergies.”
- Picture – Peanuts, almonds, and fish (Jake’s severe food allergies) cut & pasted from Google. / Words – “Peanuts, almonds, and fish.”
- Picture – Jake at his last birthday. / Sentence – “My birthday is _____.”
I am excited to work on sentences that need to be mastered and I’m so glad Jake and I were given the opportunity to demo SpeechBox. It will be a great tool for us this year.
For more information about SpeechBox, please visit http://www.speechboxapp.com. To contact Henry, you may email him at henry [at] speechboxapp.com.