Apraxia Ville

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Apraxia Ville is a unique application created specifically to help children with childhood apraxia of speech and severe speech-sound disorders. With multiple levels, both vowel and consonant targets, and the ability to create custom words, Apraxia Ville is perfect for those students struggling with sound production. Designed by certified speech-language pathologists, Apraxia Ville provides video modeling of consonants and vowels, word targets by syllable structure (CV, VC & CVC), customization of targets, and progress monitoring making it perfect for use by SLPs, special educators, and parents alike.

How to Play

Apraxia Ville is designed for single or multi-player use. Players may be imported into Apraxia Ville from the Therapy Report Center or entered individually on the home screen. Up to four players can be selected with individual selections for targets in both sound groups and syllable structure. If the student has used Apraxia Ville before, the adult also has the option of repeating the targets from the previous session. Multiple students can work on different targets in the same session. The level of play depends on which area the adult chooses to visit. Apraxia Ville has three areas from which to select: The Sound Windows (sound production), The Farm House (single word production), and The Words Farm (multiple word production). Visual stimuli are present in each area from animated phoneme production in Sound Windows to multiple word pictures in The Words Farm.

If the quickplay option is selected, the app moves directly into target selection. After the session is completed, the adult has the option of emailing/printing results or uploading directly to The Therapy Report Center. However, it should be noted that with the quick play option, no user data will be retained in the app itself.

Purpose

Apraxia Ville was designed to assist in sound production therapy by utilizing technology to present sounds and words to students while collecting data. Because Apraxia Ville is a multi-user application it can be easily utilized for group sessions. Apraxia Ville allows data to be collected on multiple utterances for each student allowing for many productions to be used for maximum therapy benefit1 without losing the ease in data collection.

Apraxia Ville utilizes a phonotactic intervention strategy by allowing targets to be selected by consonant or vowel and by planning movement sequences within syllables. This allows the student to produce words of varying syllable shape and moving into more complex word patterns.2

Placement of the written word for each picture allows the SLP to incorporate a literacy component into therapy. Print referencing directs the students’ attention to the printed word in order to increase the metalinguistic focus of an activity3. Specifically, including the orthographic components while working on sound production, may aid in phonological awareness4.

The activities

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The  Sound Windows activity is perfect for students needing sound and syllable practice. Each window contains animations for vowels and consonants which  provide an animated visual aid for phoneme production. The sound window activity also provides access to visual feedback by allowing the child to activate the iPad camera and monitor his or her own productions.

apraxia-ville-farm house

The Farm House is where players can practice single-syllable word production at various levels. Fully customizable by sound groups, vowels, and syllable structure, the Farm House is the intermediate step between syllables and multi-syllabic words.

The Syllable Structures available are:

  1. Level 1: CV & VC
  2. Level 2: CVC
  3. Level 3: CVCV
  4. Level 4: CCVC
  5. Level 5: Bisyllabic
  6. Level 6: Three Syllables
  7. Level 7: Four Syllables

Sound available to choose include the following:

  1. /p/, /b/, /m/
  2. /d/, /n/, /t/
  3. /g/, /k/, /h/
  4. /w/ & /j/
  5. /f/ & /v/
  6. /s/ & /z/
  7. /sh/, /ch/, /dg/
  8. /l/
  9. /th/
  10. /r/
  11. /ng/
  12. diphthong
  13. Short a
  14. Long a
  15. Short e
  16. Long e
  17. Short i
  18. Long i
  19. Short o
  20. Long o
  21. Short u
  22. Long u

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The Words Farm is where players can learn and practice multi-syllabic word production by combining single-syllable words from the Farm House. Fully customizable by the number of syllables, sound groups, and syllable structure, the Words Farm is the third area of Apraxia Ville.

Data Collection

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Apraxia Ville offer a very detailed data collection system. Each student can produce multiple targets per turn. A touch to the avatar changes the active student and begins the data collection for that student. When the session is complete, a simple touch to the home button and confirmation tap brings the app to the reports function. The data includes: date of practice, target phoneme, syllable structure level, percent accuracy and number of words attempted. Tapping on recordings brings up the student’s recordings during that session. A graph is provided for easy progress monitoring. Apraxia Ville data collection reports can be exported to The Therapy Report Center. Apraxia Ville also creates backup data in iTunes which will allow it to be restored if for some reason the app needs to be deleted or a new iDevice is purchased.

Customization

apraxia ville customization

Apraxia Ville has a “settings” button on the home screen. The settings button allows the user to modify the word pool and allows the adult to select the specific words used for the session. A simple touch selects or deselects the word choice.

Add custom words: To help with functional communication, Apraxia Ville allows custom images to be added to the program. Adding a custom image allows for importing pictures relevant to the student (e.g., pictures of family members, teachers, pets, etc.). The adult then records the target word, selects the syllable structure, and the targeted phoneme. This custom word will then show up in the word list.

 

Reviews

“Apraxia Ville has definitely been a motivating application for my students who prefer animated and illustrated images or need an animated cue of mouth movement on an age-appropriate model instead of staring at my face all of the time.” Jessica Chase, SLP

 

Video Tutorial 

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Sources

1 Edeal, D., and Gildersleeve-Neumann, C. (2011) The importance of production frequency in therapy for childhood apraxia of speech. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology Vol.20 95-110 May 2011.

2Velleman, S. (2006) Childhood apraxia of speech: Assessment/treatment for the school-aged child. ASHA; retrieved from: http://www.asha.org/Events/convention/handouts/2006/SC09_Velleman_Shelley/

3Justice, L. , & Ezell, H., (2004). Print referencing: An emergent literacy enhancement strategy and its clinical applications. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 35(2), 185-193.

4Hodson, B. (2007), Evaluating & enhancing children’s phonological systems. Thinking Publications University, Greenville, SC.; 138.