Health In Action Blog

How the iPad Can Assist Speech Therapy


We spoke with Jo Pierce, MS-CCC-SLP, a speech therapist for Ozarks Medical Center regarding the use of iPads to help improve speech for children with disabilities. In this post, she answers our questions and offers advice for those interested in learning more about apps that may help advance communication skills.

How has the speech therapy experience changed with the use of iPads?

iPads provide more opportunity for children with disabilities to feel comfortable with using technology daily and they provide more access to communication resources to children and families. A really great example of this is one child I work with who had anxiety when faced with using computers. But by using the iPad in therapy, she has become more familiar with technology and in turn less anxious in her everyday life.  

iPads have also reduced the amount of supplies required by speech therapists. In the past, we often have had to travel from site to site with several different types of necessary tools and resources. With the iPad, these resources are now combined into one device which has significantly decreased the amount of therapy supplies we carry, making our lives that much easier.

Are there any specific apps that you can recommend to parents who are using iPads as part of their speech therapy at home?

Definitely - The following apps are really helpful complements to at-home speech therapy that you can download to your iPad or tablet:

  • Pocket SLP Articulation

  • All About You, All About Me Fun Deck

  • Regular Past Tense Verbs Fun Deck

  • What Would You Do At School If...

  • What Would You Do At Home If...

  • How Would You Feel If...

What differences have you seen in children who have used an iPad as part of their speech therapy compared to those who have not?

Overall, children are more engaged in their therapy when they are using an iPad. For instance with pragmatic goals, children are provided actual video scenarios of social situations to discuss instead of having to rely on written examples. These visual cues help them participate more in their therapy and stimulate them to keep learning. 

What advice would you give to parents and speech therapists who are just beginning to use an iPad for speech therapy?

You can visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website for information on specific applications. There is a lot of information to help you find appropriate apps for specific speech and language goals.

Are there any other types of communications tools for speech therapy that you can recommend?

Basic communication boards are excellent for expressing wants/needs, making choices and maintaining routine. 

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