There are several apps that I use for students who seek or are very responsive to auditory stimuli. These apps can be used even if the child has a visual deficit. When looking for these types of apps, I needed something that could be easily accessed (just a tap or touch) and no matter where the child touched, there would be auditory feedback. For therapy, I might be targeting turn taking, initiating a response, or answering yes/no questions. If the student responds with a gesture (knock, hand signal, etc) to "Do you want a turn?", they are given access to the app/iPad. I am always in control of the iPad, and I sometimes need to give hand-over-hand assistance. This is a great activity that can be team-taught with an Occupational Therapist. My goal in writing this blog entry is to demonstrate that the iPad can be used with students with ALL levels of skill. Even if a child's skills are very limited, there are apps and ways to use the ipad through different levels of clinician involvement.
Virtuoso Piano 3: (Free) This is a piano keyboard...wherever the student touches, s/he can hear piano notes. There are the low notes and high notes. The keys are very big and the black/white contrast is very nice for visual contrast.
Bongos: (Free) This drum app includes 2 bongo drums that are fun for students to tap/beat/play. It is very easy to play and students who enjoy auditory stimuli will like this app.
iSteelPan: (Free) This app is a steel drum app. Within one session, I often use several drum apps and the student seems to really enjoy the contrast. This is not the best steel drum app that I found; however, it was the only free one and it suited my functional need.
Classical Guitar: This app is a guitar that the student can tap/strum to elicit sound. Very fun. Again, within one session, I often switch between these musical apps. It's great for a basic level auditory scanning technique, "Let's play music. Do you want guitar? or steel drums?" I repeat the options until the student signals a selection.
HOP on Drums: Yes, like the movie! This is such a fun app, both for the students I am including in this type of therapy, but for anyone! You can play different modes: listen to the theme song (I want candy), add your own drum beats to the theme song, or play in freestyle. It's an entire drum kit. A nice feature is that no matter how the student accesses the drums, they produce sound. S/he can tap, swipe, push, slap, etc. A great activity if you are targeting different 'touches'..."let's tap!" "let's swipe our hand!"
SoundTouch: This app is really great for many kids/students, it can be used in so many ways; however, I'll include it here. In this type of therapy, I again use it to elicit some form of a response from a student. Again, it's great because no matter where the student touches, something will happen. I can pick from the following groups: animals, wild animals, birds, vehicles, instruments. For each of those groups, there are 12 icons that can be touched/accessed. Each icon has many different real life pictures that will pop up and play the sound associated with it. Students who enjoy auditory stimuli will enjoy this!