FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America (Free-Press-Release.com) March 7, 2011 —
The launch of the new iPad 2 highlighted how, with the right software, tablets are being used in clinical settings such as in the therapy of children with Autism. Smarty Ears LLC, a Dallas, TX-based leader in the development of iPad and iPhone applications for speech therapy, has just introduced 3 new and updated apps designed for individuals affected with Apraxia, Autism and Stuttering. These new apps were a highlight at last week’s Texas Health and Speech Association Conference and will now be showcased at the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, TX.
The first new app, Smart Oral Motor v1.0, uses animation to help children practice their oral motor skills, which are impaired in many children with communication disorders such as Apraxia of Speech. Oral motor skills refer to the skills needed for basic functions such as eating and speaking. We know that in order to practice these skills effectively, children need to follow basic directions involving movements of the muscles in their mouths. Smart Oral Motor is a fun and engaging application for children who need a little more entertaining during practice. Clever the Duck provides auditory and visual cues for practicing oral motor exercises. This application includes a total of 15 exercises, auditory information and fun animations
The second new app, Expressive v1.2, is an entry-level easy to use application that allows children and adults with speech impairment to express their wants and needs through the use of pictures. Expressive is part of the segment of Augmentative and Alternative Communication methods (AAC), which refers to methods that supplement or replace speech and writing when these are temporarily or permanently impaired. It does not matter if an individual is having difficulty communicating due to Autism, Apraxia, Stroke or any other communication disorder; Expressive will give that person the ability to communicate basic needs and interests through the use of pictured images and corresponding audio. The best thing about Expressive is its ease of use. It does not require any knowledge about programming or manuals; Expressive allows simple and intuitive customization to the individual’s communication level and needs.
The 3rd app is called Fluency Tracker v2.0. The recent Oscar for Best Picture awarded to the movie “The King’s Speech” increased awareness of the issue of stuttering, which affects about 1% of the world’s population and about 3 Million people in the U.S. Fluency Tracker is an iPhone application designed for individuals who stutter and parents of children who stutter. With Fluency Tracker, individuals are able to track changes in the frequency of disfluency, changes in avoidance behaviors, and feelings associated with speaking. As a compliment to the services of a speech therapist, this application keeps a log of this information over time to allow individuals to track progress towards a more fluent speech and positive feelings regarding communication.
Barbara Fernandes, Smarty Ears’ Founder and CEO, said that Smarty Ears was created on the premise that technology is a powerful mechanism for developing functional and engaging tools to improve communication abilities of children and adults with speech and language difficulties, regardless of their native language. “Our company designs and publishes apps in a variety of areas (fluency, articulation, language, etc.), catering not only to persons with communication disorders, but also their parents, educators and therapists”. According to Dr. Jose A. Briones, Smarty Ears’ Director of Marketing, both Expressive and Smart Oral Motor are now within the Top 50 Medical Apps in Apple’s iTunes store. With a total of 21 apps for the iOS system and 3 apps for the Android system, Smarty Ears will continue to invest in new apps to make therapy and educational sessions highly interactive.
For more information visit Smarty Ears’ website: http://www.smartyearsapps.com
or Expressive’s website: http://www.expressiveapp.com/
iPhone, iPad, iTunes and iPod Touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Smarty Ears is a trademark of Smarty Ears, LLC