Virtual Speech Center’s “Comprehension Aphasia” is an app which aims to help adults and children with auditory comprehension tasks. The app is ideally used with those who have difficulties as a result of aphasia, cognitive deficits and decreased attention, Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), receptive language disorders, and Autism.I have several children with receptive language disorder, CAPD, and Autism that I have been able to use this app with. Overall, this app has been a good addition to our iTherapy. Here’s a bit more about it and some tips:
When you open the app you are greeted by this screen. You have the option to see “reports” from previous sessions, learn more on the “info” tab, change app “settings”, or “start” a game.
The reports screen allows you to look at one user at a time and view them by skill/activity or by session date. This is always a must-have for any app I use in therapy these days!
When you click on a specific skill or date, this screen appears showing the percentage correct for each date. Great for progress monitoring and easy to print or e-mail to yourself, parents, and teachers!
The settings on the app can be found here:
Use Alternate Count – I’m really not sure what this is but will find out and report back!
Enable Audio – questions read aloud
Automatic Paging – I typically have this on during use/assessment of a skill. It would be good to turn off for repetitions/instruction!
Random Paging – I would definitely recommend having this on. It helps to randomize the screens shown but as discussed later, doesn’t always work when multiple players are used.
Enable Background Noise – This is an option that is great for students who can do tasks in quiet environments but need background noise work.
Having the sound volume is great. I have some students who think the “wrong” sound is like that of a bodily function and therefore will hit it to be funny. This helps reduce that temptation 🙂
After clicking “start” you can add or choose players. Then you use this screen to choose their activities. My tip here would be to not choose the same activity for all students in a group. I found that when I did this, students would get the same task after the other student had completed it. Also, I found that when you choose more than 1 area for a student, it does not “shuffle” stimuli from all areas selected. Instead, you are given all of one type before the next type starts. This is probably the only thing that really irks me when using this app. Definitely not a deal-breaker but could be improved to provide an even better app experience!
Once the app begins, you are given a screen like this. The app gives the student the instruction and they follow it. For multiple steps, they complete the tasks and then hit “go”. (Note that with multiple-step instructions it does not require them to do them in the correct sequence.) You can also record their responses and play them back. We’ve used this to repeat the direction that they heard and check to see if it was the same as the prompt.
Overall, this has become a go-to app for my students with Autism and some with vocabulary and auditory comprehension goals. Here is my quick pros/improvements list:
- Great real-life and current pictures and audio.
- Nice clear voice for instruction.
- Data tracking included in the app with the ability to print/e-mail the progress.
- Keeps data stored on the app for each student!
- Great for most students.
- The orientation of this app rotates if the iPad is turned. It does not function in portrait mode, only landscape.
- Overall one of my most-used apps… great for SLPs with children and adult clients!
- I would love to be able to select multiple things for a student to describe and have it really randomize them all together (eg 1-step with verbs and 1-step with nouns). Students sometimes tired of seeing the same type of prompt and I would like to mix it up as well.
- I would love a built-in reward for students. This would not be great for adults but I like that other VSC apps have an automatic reward built in after so many correct responses.
- Trivial detail but a few confusing photos: the mug is very confusing for my students since it looks more like a camping mug/cup, the towel and toilet paper pictures are often confused by my students and they are usually shown together on the same prompt.
Disclosure: VSC provided a copy of this app for review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are that of the author.