What It Is: A “what doesn’t belong” app by Therapy Box.
How It Works: The app’s home page offers multiple choices concerning users (new or existing), number of cards (three or six), level of difficulty (easy, medium, or hard), and card set (1-5). Once these preferences have been chosen, the game selects 25 trials. In each trial, there is one card that does is not in the same semantic category as the others. If the correct card is chosen, it is highlighted and a checkmark appears with a sound effect, and the next trial appears. If the incorrect card is chosen, it is highlighted and an X appears with a sound effect. The correct answer is then highlighted in another answer, and the app asks, “Do you want to try again?” (If you do, this does not alter the data at the end–that trial is still considered incorrect.) After completing the 25 trials, the app then provides a percentage of accuracy.
My Therapy Applications: I have only used this app with my preschool clients; however, I could easily see it being used with older individuals as well. Depending on the child’s abilities and age, I alter the level of support provided (by both myself and the app) as he or she uses the app. For example, I may have a three-year-old client use the easy setting with three cards while I provide maximum prompts. On the other hand, I may have a five-year-old client use the easy setting with six cards while I provide minimal prompts. I may also ask the older child to explain why he chose the card or which categories are represented by the cards.
Pros: 1. The customization options truly allows for catering to clients of varying abilities and developmental levels. The “easy” setting is easy enough for most preschoolers and the “hard” setting is hard enough to challenge adolescents or even adults. You can also choose if you would like the cards to include symbols, words, or both.
2. The pictures on the app are not age-specific. They are neither too childish for adults nor too mature for children.
3. Unlike many of the “card-based” apps I’ve used, the trials in this app are relatively vast. In other words, you will not have gone through all of the choices in the first few times using the app. With 25 trials in 5 sets across 3 levels of difficulty, you’re not going to run out of material, nor will your clients easily memorize the appropriate answers.
4. Use is seamless. The app is easy to navigate with little effort.
5. Users have the option to try a trial again if they guess incorrectly.
7. When the “home” button is pressed, the app asks if you would like to end the session. This may seem simple but can be a source of frustration in apps without it if the button is pressed by an impulsive client or accidentally brushed by the therapist.
Cons: 1. Price. As discussed with the Minimal Pairs Pack app (also by Therapy Box), $29.99 can be a bit of a shock in a market where the typical app is under $10. On the other hand, the app is well-developed and the price is becoming more typical for apps of its quality.
2. There is currently no option for skipping to the data page without completing all 25 trials. For younger clients or clients with attention difficulties, this can be inconvenient.
3. It does not appear possible to retrospectively view data after closing out of a session without going through another session (25 trials) and viewing the data at the end.
4. Since the “hard” trials contain pictures with very close semantic relationships, the pictures may be too ambiguous for clients who are unable to read. This would likely only be an issue for older clients of typical cognition who are illiterate. Most of the pictures in the “easy” and “medium” trials are not clearly represented.
Overall Rating: 4/5
The Take-Away: Compared to similar “what does not belong” apps, this one easily outshines its competitors. The price is a bit higher than I would judge appropriate for its abilities. If you work on this skill (or related skills like categorization) frequently, it will likely be worth the purchase.
My Questions for You: Have you used this app before? If so, have your experiences been similar to mine? If not, would you buy this app? Would you be willing to spend the $29.99?
Looking for expert reviews of this app? Check it out on YappGuru.com!
*Full Disclosure: I was contacted by the app developer to review this app.*