★ First Impressions of Speech FlipBook

Speech-centric developer Tactus Therapy has released their latest new app, Speech FlipBook. From their description:

Speech FlipBook is an essential and affordable tool for all Speech-Language Pathologists, teachers, and parents. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to practice speech, phonics, and reading in this 3-part flip book with onset, nucleus, and coda to create nearly any single-syllable word in English! Apraxia of speech, articulation disorders, dysarthria, and phonological awareness are just a few of the targets of this app perfect for children and adults.

I downloaded it shortly after release last Friday. Though acute care doesn't normally lend itself well to the use of apps, I do use them from time to time and am quite fond of Tactus Therapy.

First Impressions

Playing with Speech FlipBook so far, I've found it to have a welcoming design interface. As a general rule, I don't like page-turning animations (it's personal preference; I still respect the amount of work it takes to accomplish said animation). Fortunately, Speech FlipBook includes a settings page that makes it easy to adjust the app to your liking.

After turning the page-flipping animation off, I fleetingly thought it might be nice to have a "tap to flip" gesture control. However, upon further consideration, I decided I actually like that the upward swipe gesture is still required, as I could see myself tapping the screen at or below the letter as a visual cue.

One of the app's best features is the way all the sounds are organized in specific tables. This makes it easy to design a therapy session. For example, if I wanted to work only on vowel productions between bilabial sounds, I could select /p/ and /b/ for my initial sounds, turn off clusters and R-controlled vowels, and /p/ and /b/ for final sounds. This wasn't completely intuitive for me at first, but a quick view of this introductory video was all it took to get the hang of it. The touch targets are usually easy to hit, though on the Initial Sounds tab I've found that the voiced and voiceless touch contacts are close enough for frequent error upon contact.

Finally, I love the Record feature. I'm a big fan of biofeedback, and love that I could use this potentially for homework, especially knowing that patients could record themselves and then compare it to the model.

Future Ideas

While I don't yet have a complete use case for this app in my own work, I like the way it's making me think so far. For my own uses, one thing I would find helpful would be a way to track a session. I love this feature in other Tactus Therapy apps, as I find it useful to track progress.

Perhaps different "modes", such as Practice Mode and Scored Mode might be a nice option. I have a patient I'm working with right now who would love the chance to practice for a while and then try out a scored version so he could see how he does.

Along those same lines, I would love to be able to limit the number of flips at any given time. Progress could be shown both in terms of number of cards flipped as well as time elapsed.

The Takeaway

Speech FlipBook is a great addition to an already excellent line of apps by Tactus Therapy. Though brand new, it has much to offer already. I expect Speech FlipBook will carry on the Tactus tradition of quality improvements, regular updates, and support. You can download it today for a mere $5 in the app store.