Saturday, April 23, 2011

Auditory Stimuli Apps

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! 

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