From Toys to Technology: Apps Changing the World of Speech Pathology


When I was a child, I didn’t have a cell phone or the latest gaming system—I was rollerblading, jump roping, scraping my knees and then running back to play with the kid who tripped me. My family’s television received four channels, I could get sand in my eyes without my family threatening a lawsuit, and my curfew was whenever the street lights came on. Being the oldest, I used to tease and torment my little sister, but when my sister couldn’t say her “S’s”, my mother took her to a speech therapist, and I tagged along pretending I couldn’t pronounce my “R’s” so I could play with the toys and eat snacks.

Although I wouldn’t change anything about my childhood, there are some pretty neat advancements in technology that are changing the way Generation Z learns, plays, and most notably: regulates health and wellness, specifically speech pathology.

In the 1990’s, the average age of the Barbie target market was 10 years old, and in 2000 that age dropped to 3 years old. With an increase of web-based learning and increased access to electronic devices, children as young as four are becoming less interested in toys and more enamored with shiny gadgets, so naturally, doctors and app developers must keep up with the times and find new ways to make speech therapy appealing to children and their parents.

A visit to a speech pathologist can be pricey, especially if you are uninsured or your insurance does not cover the cost of speech therapy. Not to mention, visit costs often do not include books, tests and other activities to help improve speech and articulation. Fortunately, apps are making speech therapy affordable and accessible to anyone with an internet connection and compatible electronic device.

Four Affordable and Cost Effective Speech Therapy Apps

1. Speech Tutor: All ages

Focusing on articulation, this app provides visual cues (what the mouth, lips and tongue are doing) and other tips for producing sound. Also, users can record themselves as they practice target sounds, then play it back before and after a correctly modeled recording. 

  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later
  • Cost: $9.99

2. Articulation Station: All ages, but geared towards children

Articulate, match and label sounds using flashcard and matching games. Build custom word lists and practice 20 words per sound in three different levels.

  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later
  • Cost: Free to download, then $2.99 per sound

3. Speech with Milo: Ages 1-7

Follow Milo Mouse and Melvin Raccoon through a series of games and develop speech, sequencing and storytelling skills along the way.

  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 3.0 or later
  • Cost: $2.99

4. NACD Apraxia: All ages

Imitate consonant-vowel-consonant (“CVC”) productions. Use illustrations and audio as you move through eight different levels of motor planning for speech.

  • Compatibility: Kindle, Nook, Android and iOS 5.1 or later
  • Cost: $4.99

And remember, speech therapy isn’t just for children—speech therapy is a wonderful tool for anyone trying to improve their pronunciation.

Author: Allied Travel Careers

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