Tuesday, March 12, 2013

App Review & Giveaway: Auditory Processing Studio

I don't know about you, but I'm finding that my caseload is comprised more and more of students with auditory processing difficulties.  Well, recently I was given the opportunity to try out Auditory Processing Studio by Virtual Speech Center Inc.




This app was created by a certified speech and language pathologist.  It is designed for adults and children ages 7 and up who exhibit Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) or other auditory processing disorders. According to the app description, "this research-based app implements the bottom-top approach to treatment of auditory processing disorders and focuses on improving auditory processing through auditory discrimination, auditory closure, and phonological awareness activities. Users can also introduce background noise to help children or adults practice their listening skills in a noisy environment."




Using the App:


There are four buttons on the Home Screen (above):

Reports:

Auditory Processing Studio will collect data from your session.  This is where you can access that data. You can view your data by activity or by date.  



  
You have the options of printing the information (if your iPad has AirPrint capabilities) or emailing the information.  I tend to email reports to myself and print from the email.

Info:

Tapping this button will give you a written description of the app, as well as instructions for use.


From this screen you can also visit the Virtual Speech Center's website, sign up for their newsletter, and visit their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Settings:

You guessed it...this is where you customize the app's settings to your needs.


Options include -
  • User Alternate Count:  This option is for alternating between multiple users.
  • Enable Audio:  I'm not sure why you would not want to use audio on an app targeting auditory processing, but regardless,  you do have the option of turning audio off.
  • Show Instructions:  With this option, you can have written instructions included.
  • Automatic Paging:  Selecting this option will move you forward to the next item after a response is given.
  • Random Paging:  This option will give you randomized items rather than a predictable sequence.
  • Enable Reward:  You can turn the reinforcement on/off
  • Award Counter:  You can customize how many correct responses a student needs to get before they earn the reward.
  • Enable Background Noise:  You can turn on background noise (generally white noise) to target figure/ground.
  • Background Noise Volume:  This adjusts the volume of background noise should you choose to include it.
  • Background Noise:  Here you can select one of five options for background noise (basic white noise, beach sounds, birds chirping, etc.).

Start:

Once you "start," you will add/select students.  You can select more than one student per session.  
Add Student
Select Student(s)

Once you select students and tap "next," you must select activity(s).  There are three main activity categories.  They are...

1.  Auditory Discrimination.  This category  has 16 levels with activities like "Picture identification of minimal pairs - initial consonants," "Same vs. different minimal pairs - final position of words," "Identifying presence of specific initial sounds in words in yes/no format," and "Identifying nonsense words in sentences."


2. Phonological Awareness.  This category has 16 different levels with activities targeting "Identifying presence of rhyme in yes/no format," "Identifying multiple words that rhyme with a target word," "Blending of syllables," "Identifying number of syllables in a word," and "Orally identifying each phoneme in a target word."


3.  Auditory Closure.  This category has 17 different levels, including:  "Generating missing words at the end of sentences - popular songs, nursery rhymes," "Generating missing objects in the middle of sentences," "Generating missing final syllables in single words," "Generating missing final phonemes in single words," and "Generating missing initial phonemes in words embedded in sentences."



Game Play:


Now that you have configured your settings, entered your students, and chosen your target activities, it's time to play!  Once you start, you will be shown a little clip by a guy named "Andrew," who will provide verbal instructions to your students.  (You can choose to skip this intro if you want).



Here's a sample screen from Auditory Closure Level 1:  Generating missing words at the end of sentences - popular songs, nursery rhymes:


Because this app is targeting auditory skills, very little visual feedback is given (unless you choose an option with .  Sticking with the theme of a recording studio, the green bar in the middle shows a pattern of movement as the auditory stimulus is provided.  You can record the student's response by tapping the record button (red circle on the left), play it back by pressing the play button (green triangle on the left), or repeat the instruction.  You can keep track of accuracy by tapping the green check (correct response) or red X (incorrect response), both found on the right of the screen.  For some items, you can hear a correct verbal response (the speaker icon on the bottom right of the screen above).

Example of item with visual cues:



In this sample screen from Auditory Discrimination - Same vs. different consonant minimal pairs - initial consonants, you can see that, for some of the activities, the student is required to tap the screen to respond.  For these activities, accuracy is automatically tallied.



Notice the drums below the recording buttons?  These indicate progress toward reinforcement (if you chose to include this option).  For this session, I opted to have the student participate in the reinforcement activity after 5 correct responses.  What's the reinforcement?  They get to participate in the recording studio by playing instruments!



 Pros:

  • This app is very comprehensive in targeting Auditory Processing Disorders.  With three main categories and 16-17 levels within each, you could use this app for months without repeating activities! In addition, because of the number and variety of activities, you are likely to find some activities that are challenging for your students and others with which your students will experience success.  Being successful is highly motivating for many students!
  • The inclusion of Phonological Awareness activities makes this app appealing to not only SLPs, but also Reading Specialists and Special Education teachers.
  • Auditory Processing Studio is EVIDENCE-BASED!  
  • The ability to adjust/remove reinforcement.  Students respond differently to reinforcement and it's great to have the option to increase the frequency or even to remove all together!
  • Data collection and reporting.  
  • The ability to add background noise makes tasks more challenging, and more like real-life situations.


 Cons:

  • Some of the "popular" songs and nursery rhymes were unfamiliar to some of my students ("Mary, Mary Quite Contrary" comes to mind).  Because of this, I didn't necessarily want to mark them as incorrect when they had no prior knowledge.
  • One of my 7-year old students with auditory processing delays experienced a good deal frustration because he was used to having more visual stimuli, especially from iPad applications.  Because of this, he kept asking to end the activity and move along to others.  Although I understand why little visual input is provided, clinicians should be aware that younger students may get frustrated by this.

The Bottom Line:
Auditory Processing Studio is a great app for targeting CAPD and other Auditory Processing Disorders.  With this app, you can target auditory discrimination, auditory closure, and phonological awareness.  If you have students with CAPD or auditory processing disorders, you will definitely want to check out this app!


Auditory Processing Studio is $29.99 in iTunes.  You can enter to win a copy for yourself using the rafflecopter below!


Disclaimer:  Although the Virtual Speech Center provided me with a copy of Auditory Processing Studio for the purpose of this review and another for the giveaway, the opinions expressed are mine alone.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 comments :

  1. Auditory Discrimination! So many of my children confuse sounds without visual cues.

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    1. Thanks for this comment! It made me notice I forgot to change the comment prompt, lol!

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  2. Auditory Discrimination and phonological awareness. I have so many students needing all the help I can give in these areas!

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  3. I would love to get a copy of this! I have a lot of students on my caseload with auditory processing issues.

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  4. Having such a great variety of categories and levels, I could see this app serving students at different ages.

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  5. I am always on the lookout for APD materials. This looks interesting. I like the auditory closure activity.

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  6. I would love to have a copy of this app. I have had so many students added to my caseload with auditory processing goals. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  7. This app looks great! I have many kids who would benefit!

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  8. To improve listening skills and language processing skills. Thanks for reviewing this app and offering a code.

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  9. Just found your blog and love all the ideas .Thank you and Happy St. Pat's Day!

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  10. I have so many students who have difficulty attending to auditory stimuli. The ipad itself often provides the needed motivation.

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  11. Thanks for reviewing this app Carrie! I would love to win a copy :)

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  12. This app will give my students a fun, interactive way to help target their auditory processing goals!

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  13. I have many students who have auditory processing issues and love the iPad. This looks great!

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  14. Most, if not all!, of my kids need to improve their listening skills. Thanks for the review.

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  15. I would use it with my Tolerance Fading Memory/Decoding processing kiddos. This app looks like it would be great for them! Thanks thorough review and opportunity to win!

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    1. Thanks for thorough review and opportunity to win! Email is smweimer11@msn.com

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    2. Congratulations Shannan! You're the winner :)

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  16. I have lots of elementary schoolers who have auditory processing problems and phonological processes. This would be a fun way to work on their goals.

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  17. It would be great to have an activity that's more fun than what's out there already. My kids are always excited to use the iPad!!

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