Speech Sound for Kids is an iPad app for promoting phonemic awareness, auditory discrimination and speech sound production using a multi-sensory approach.
This app can provide many hours of speech therapy and early literacy programming.
It is recommended for children aged approximately 4 years – 7 years, however younger and older children may find it useful depending on their individual needs. The app helps children produce and explore the 22 consonant sounds of English using a multi-sensory approach. It also allows for the users’ results to be recorded and sent to their therapist or teacher. It’s perfect for home practice!
Each of the sounds is represented by a friendly little character called a Sound Buddy. With the help of the Sound Buddies, children learn to identify, discriminate and produce each sound – and they start to learn letter-links too! The program has a strong emphasis on developing phonemic awareness and articulatory awareness too.
Animated stories, videos of a child’s mouth saying the sound and Hand sound cues are all provided to help the child learn each sound. The child can record the sound or word and listen to how they went, and these recordings can be saved to monitor progress.
Children can play games like colouring the Sound Buddy (Touch when you hear the sound), Who said that sound? Who said that word? and matching games of varying degrees of difficulty.
In time, children become familiar with more and more Sound Buddies, thus increasing in their phonemic awareness (speech sound awareness) and understanding of correct speech sound production. Listening and production tasks are provided for both single sounds and also for each of the sounds in words. There are over 300 fun pictures to help with word practice!
Several sounds can be combined in tasks after they have been “studied” individually, allowing children to develop a strong awareness of the similarities and differences between sounds.
Phonemic awareness (speech sound awareness) has a causal relationship to reading and spelling development. When children become aware of individual sounds in words, they can begin to “map” them on to letters. Articulatory awareness is the knowledge of the articulation required for each sound. Studies show that individuals with dyslexia have weak articulatory awareness and training in this domain can increase performance on literacy tasks.
The Goals of the App
1) To help children learn about and practise specific sounds required for clear speech.
2) To heighten children’s awareness of sounds (phonemic awareness) which is vital for speech therapy tasks and which is a strong predictor for success in literacy-learning
3) To heighten children’s articulatory awareness and auditory awareness of sounds (phonemes) which has been shown to assist children who have reading difficulties.
Scope of the App
There are five main parts to the app which work towards achieving the goals listed above. They are:-
1) learn to identify and make a specific sound (as represented by a Sound Buddy)
2) learn to identify and make specific sounds in the first position of words
3) learn to distinguish and produce different sounds (from the current set of sounds being studied) .
4) learn to distinguish and produce different sounds in the initial position of words (from the current set of sounds being studied)
5) build a bank of familiar sounds that can be identified and produced as single sounds and also in the initial position of words
This is the North American (US) voice version. An Australian voice version is also available in the App Store.
Minor update to provide support for iOS11.
Ratings and Reviews
Great tool for therapy and instant feedback! One issue - there are only initial sounds. For the $$, medial and final position of sounds in words would be amazing to have all in one app!! Graphics are hit and miss for students.
I selected the application for the features related to demonstrating how to form the sound. My son takes speech therapy twice a week so this is to supplement what the therapist is teaching him. I have several speech apps which we are using today and will continue to use in conjunction with this app.
- demonstrates how to physically produce the sound
- presented in a fun interactive way
- the ability to select multiple letters to compare sounds is useful
- the recording duration is too short. My son takes time to form words and often the recording has stopped before he has said the word.
- navigation is average and takes some getting used to. I found I was getting lost in the application and not exactly sure what I was working on.
- the app only includes 22 letters...it would be nice to have the entire alphabet and more combined letters
Overall I would recommend this application. it is better than most that are available for an iPad. Since it is new, I am sure it will have many updates with improved features.
Robust app, easy to use with my son
This is an extremely robust and easy to use speech app. As a parent wanting to work with my child at home, I feel confident in my ability to navigate and properly use the activities. With the ability to share statistics easily via email, it could be a great app for use jointly at home and in therapy sessions. Each time my son and I work with the app, I feel like I discover a whole new layer and opportunities to help further develop his language skills. I was truly blown away by how much this app has to offer. It is comprehensive enough to be useful to therapists, but easy enough to navigate for use at home.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.