Thursday, December 13, 2012

Between the Lines by Hamaguchi


Between the Lines by Hamaguchi is an app designed to work on inferencing skills.  This has quickly become one of my favorite apps and one that my clients request.  At the price of $15.99 for the full version and 99 cents for the lite versions, I believe this is a quality app.  There are a total of 3 apps that can be purchased that address the same skills.  Levels 1 and 2 are for elementary to adolescents and A is for adolescents and adults.

There are three different activities that are addressed and reinforcers built into the system.  The first activity is listening.  The client is asked to listen to an audio clip and then shown pictures.  The client must determine "Who said it?" by matching the facial expression to what they heard.

The second activity is body language and perspective taking.  In this activity, the client watches a short video clip and then use body language, receptive language and inferencing to determine what the target character is thinking.

The last activity is expressions - slang and idioms.  The client is asked to watch someone using a slang expression, idiom or common expression and determine what it means.

Between the Lines has also built in data collection and can be utilized in a group setting.  This is especially important for those who work in the schools and are often providing services in small groups.  In addition, users are able to customize settings.  you can decide if the client will choose from 2, 3 or 4 choices.  You decide after how many items, the client will be able to get the reward.  The user can also decide if there will be bell or voice encouragement.

The Hamaguchi website also has extension activities for this app available for download.  It gives a list of activities that can be done either by a therapist or a parent to work on inferencing skills.

Hamaguchi continues to make quality apps at an affordable price.  I highly recommend this app for individuals with autism and those working on higher level language skills.

Disclosure:  Hamaguchi Apps provided a copy of this app to this reviewer.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Favorites of a 5 Year Old

I've been meaning to post for a while and the start of the school ya and other things got in the way.  I also live right in the path of Hurricane Sandy and am dealing with the after effects.  I will not be able to live in my condo for at least a month.  I will be living with my mom, whom right now does not have power either.  The family is all safe and that is what is really important.  I wanted to share some observations of what apps my 5 year old nephew has been playing to keep himself occupied without power.

Tizzy Vet - This is an app that I recently downloaded when it was free (not sure if it is still free). He gets to take care if different animals in the veterinarians office. He examines each of the animals according to what it tells him to do and then when he is done with each part, a check is Putin the chart, which he loves.  This is great from a language perspective for labeling the animals and following directions.

Toca Boca - I won't pick just one of their apps because he loves them all!  He loves  playing in the hair salon and making the hair all sorts of wild colors.  He recently discovered the store and has enjoyed playing that with me.  H also loves TocaMonsters.  He loves when the characters make sounds because he has overcooked or over seasoned the food.  In TocaHouse, he especially loves when the one character is taking a bath.  These apps are great for following directions, sequencing, expanding utterances, social language and vocabulary.

I will try to be more regular with my posting. There are a couple of great apps I want to write about when I have better access.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tense Builder - A Review

Have you ever struggled with how to teach your students to understand verb tenses?  Kyle over at the Mobile Education Store have created a new app called Tense Builder which will greatly assist in developing these skills.

Tense Builder is designed to help students learn to identify and use correct verb tense forms through the use of video animation that demonstrate past, present and future verb tenses.  Ther eare currently 36 video lessons, which will expand to 60 by Christmas, which help to give students a better understanding about tenses.

Students learn to sequence and differentiate between events that will happen, events that are happening now and events that have already happened.  Students will also identify the correct written verb forms and drag them to complete sentences.

As in all the Mobile Education Store apps, the student will have the ability to record their sentences in order to help them improve their receptive and expressive language skills and promote the carryover of the target verb forms to their conversational speech.

There are 2 levels of play in this app.  Data collection occurs and multiple students can be made users for this app.  The data can be printed and emailed.  Correct responses are reinforced and incorrect responses are utilized for teachable moments.  Students are allowed to try multiple times to get the correct answer.

This is a great app to work on syntax.  The app could be improved by developing a way for students to get hints or cues to assist in answering the questions.  In addition, there should be an easy way to switch between members of a group when using the app and being able to record data for each student.


Disclaimer:  Mobile Education Store provided a copy of this app to this reviewer.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Grumble Noise - a Review

Get Loud Because The Grumble Noise Is Here!

The Grumble Noise is the newest book app from Erik X. Raj.  He is running a special for the month of August and offering this great app for free!

The basic story line is that there are 2 brothers who share a bedroom and one keeps hearing a grumbling noise that has woken him up.  It turns out to be the brother's stomach making noises and so they go to get a midnight snack.

On every page of the book, there are interactive elements to help keep your attention.  You can hear the grumbling noise, change toys, make the dragon breathe fire.

This is a great app for assisting with problem solving.  You could brainstorm what the noise might be and also what to do when they determine it is someone's stomach.  You could also have a whole conversation about what appropriate snacks are for when someone is hungry.

I highly recommend this app for working with children 4 years of age and older.  I tried it with varous children, both typical and special needs and they had a blast.  The illustrations, animations and sounds really kept their attention.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hiding the Home Button

There are times, when the students we are working with, are constantly exiting out of the app that we want to use and going to something else. There is a great product from Paperclip Robot called BubCap.  The BubCap is a home button cover for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  This product adheres to the i-Device but is also removeable.  If removed repeatedly, it will lose its adhesiveness.  There are 4 different types of BubCaps depending upon the strength that you need.  In addition, you can buy them individually or in explorer packs.  I am going to take a moment to describe each one to you.

BubCap Regular - I would generally recommend this for the iPhone or iPod Touch.  Due to the thin nature, I would not use it on the iPad and would only recommend it for toddlers.  Older children will have the strength to press the home button through it.

BubCap Ultra - This can be used on any of the devices.  I would recommend using it on the iPad for a toddler and on the iPhone and iPod Touch for a stronger child.

BubCap Max - This is the most rigid home button cover that can be pressed by an adult.  It is primarily intended for the iPad when being used with older children.  This was originally created with the educational and assistive technology market in mind.  If used on the iPhone or iPod Touch, even an adult will have a hard time pressing the home button.

BubCap Pro - This is the newest addition to the BubCap family.  It is made of solid aluminum and considered to be industrial strength.  The only way to activate the home button is by using a paper clip or toothpick through a small hole.  The only way that the PRO Can be removed from the device is to use a sharp tool.

Disclaimer:  Paperclip Robot donated the BubCaps to be utilized during therapy and professional presentations.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


My name is Kim Scharoff and I am a Speech-Language Pathologist who likes to integrate the use of technology into her therapy sessions. With the introduction of the iPad and the wide variety of apps available to help develop speech and language skills, my career has taken a new path. In addition to my day job, I provide services to individuals to assist them in selecting the most appropriate apps fr their needs. In addition, I do presentations on the use of the iPad for speech and language development.

On this blog, I look forward to sharing my thoughts and providing reviews of apps. I look forward to expanding my edr base and sharing information. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask at any time.