Grant assists in iPad use in speech therapy

Some students in speech therapy at Dutchtown Primary School have been using an iPad to help them see how they are producing their speech sounds.

An Ascension Fund grant awarded to Lynette Lacombe enabled her to purchase an iPad, a protective case and a variety of speech therapy apps to help students correct sounds that are difficult to produce, Lacombe said.

Lacombe’s “iHear iSee iSay” program called for using apps featuring hundreds of pictures that include target sounds at the word, phrase and sentence level, she said.

Some of the apps include features to customize items for a particular student, she said.

“Learning to produce sounds correctly in speech therapy can be a slow and long journey,” she said. “For years, speech therapists have used a mirror for students to watch themselves produce sounds.

“Unfortunately after one production, the student had to be able to rely on a few seconds of feedback in the mirror to view how their lips, teeth or tongue were positioned for a correct sound. Now with the aid of the iPad camera feature, the therapist can record the student’s production which includes the sound that needs remediation.”

The iPad recording allows the student to see their speech sound production more than once by replaying the recording as well as stopping the video to learn about lip, teeth and tongue placement, she said.

Lacombe and her students were also able to use the video zoom feature to observe appropriate lip rounding or tongue elevation.

“This iPad has enhanced the results of traditional speech therapy,” she said.

She said that after several therapy sessions the students were capable of identifying ,through the iPad video, the necessary modifications needed to correctly produce target sounds.

Students in kindergarten through fifth-grade were able to benefit from this advanced technology, she said.