Archive for March 2012

Ground-Breaking App for Individuals with Word Finding Difficulties

Ground-Breaking App for Individuals with Word Finding Difficulties
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Dallas, TX (March 22, 2012) – Approximately one million people in America (one out of 275 adults) suffer from some form of Aphasia and/or Apraxia. As a result, the majority of these individuals face word finding difficulties, the inability to think of and retrieve the right words. Clinicians have created several evidence-based cueing strategies for word finding. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint a universal approach that is suitable for patients as each individual’s case is different and requires mixed or combined approaches for successful treatment. Therefore, it is essential to have a tool that incorporates each of these approaches in order to effectively help patients with various levels of communication.iName it is the first app to provide patients with a simple, systematic way to retrieve target words depicted in a realistic visual scene and enhanced by the five types of evidence-based cueing strategies. Each target word can be elicited by one or more of the available cues. iName it enables speech therapists to use a combination of the cueing options to meet the needs of a wide range of patients with varying communication levels.Published by Smarty Ears, iName it was created by certified Speech-Language Pathologists, Elizabeth Begley and Mary Pitti to assist individuals with word finding difficulties that are secondary to Aphasia and/or Apraxia. “This app is essential for every SLP who works with people who have Aphasia. The app targets basic functional words that people use on a daily basis. The target words are found in attractive visual displays that are realistic. The user has several cueing methods to choose from when trying to elicit the target word. This app is bound to be your favorite in your collection,” states Mary Pitti, Clinic Program Director and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at Ithaca College.

iName it includes fifty word finding items that are typically found in the household and around the community. By using the household visual scenes such as the garage, kitchen, bathroom, and living room, patients’ word finding skills will significantly improve.

“Clients can select a room in the house and then work with a therapist, spouse, or alone, to name relevant items in the room. While the target item becomes central in the screen, the context of the room is always visible in the background. In addition, the ‘adult look’ of the items and scenes will appeal to older individuals who often reject childlike or cartoon images. This app encourages and reinforces multiple practices both in the therapy setting and at home,” says co-author, Elizabeth Begley of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic at the College Station Medical Center.

iName it can be used by speech-language pathologists, family members, and individuals with word finding difficulties. The easy-to-use app is designed for adults, but it is appropriate for all ages. “I am amazed at the number of adult clients who buy iPads and are just looking for appropriate apps to aid in their language recovery.  iName it can be an excellent adjunct to regaining naming competence,” Begley adds.

iName it is currently available for $14.99 and can be purchased from the iTunes app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iname-it/id486781414?mt=8. The app is compatible with the iPad running iOS 4.0 or above.

For more information about Smarty Ears or iName it, please visit smartyearsapps.com or email us at [email protected].

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Smarty Ears’ Apps Become Finalists in the About.com’s Readers’ Choice Awards

Smarty Ears’ Apps Become Finalists in the About.com’s Readers’ Choice Awards
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Articulate It! And Custom Boards are two of five finalists chosen to compete in the ‘Favorite Special-Needs App’ Category

San Francisco, CA (March 5, 2012)–We are pleased to announce that Smarty Ears’ apps, Articulate It! and Custom Boards have been selected as two of five finalists in the 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards for “Favorite Special-Needs App,” presented by About.com. The popular annual reader-driven awards program highlights the best products, services, and features in hundreds of categories that span across a majority of About.com’s channels from technology to hobbies.

 Smarty Ears was founded in 2009 by Speech and Language Pathologist, Barbara Fernandes. Smarty Ears is an innovative company that specializes in creating mobile educational apps and has quickly emerged as the leader in creating convenient, affordable, and easy-to-use apps that serve the needs of parents, speech therapists, teachers and, students with speech, language, and hearing disabilities. Smarty Ears currently provides users with over 32 mobile apps and 3 Android apps.

 “We greatly appreciate the positive responses that our products have been receiving and are humbled by the recognition About.com’s readers are giving Custom Boards and Articulate It!” said Fernandes.

Custom Boards and Articulate It! were created to help improve children’s speech and language skills. Custom Boards serves a visual support system that enables teachers, parents, and speech therapists to enhance learning for each child with special needs. The app also provides parents with an affordable way to aid their child at home, creating a link between the child’s learning environments and reinforcing the learning process. With the Smarty Symbols’ advanced and comprehensive library of over 11,000 symbols incorporated into the app, Custom Boards offers its users a pool of templates to create customized communication boards, schedules, and meaningful activities. Custom Boards was launched on October 6, 2001 and quickly became the #3 Bestselling Educational App on iTunes.

Articulate it! was created to help parents and speech therapists improve the speech of children with delays in speech. This universal app contains over 1 thousand pictures and includes all of the phonemes of the English language. Articulate it! is currently the only application on iTunes that enables speech therapists to work with a group of students simultaneously, which is a great need in school settings.

We encourage each of our users to show their support by voting for their favorite Smarty Ears’ app. To vote, visit the following link:  http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2012/02/22/vote-for-favorite-special-needs-app.htm.

Users can vote for Custom Boards or Articulate It! once per day until March 21. About.com will announce the winner on March 30.

For more information about Articulate It!, Custom Boards, or other Smarty Ears’ products or how to vote in the poll, contact us at [email protected].

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