Apps that address phonological processes are somewhat rare, so I was excited when SLP TechTools asked if I would review this app! Please feel free to comment below and let me know how this compares to any other phono apps you’ve used!
App: SLP Minimal Pairs
What It Is: An app designed to address phonological and articulation disorders by SLP TechTools.
Price: $29.99 (there is also a free lite version available to trial)
How It Works: Upon opening the app, you are taken to the client list page. Here you can add, delete, edit, or select clients. (Remembering HIPPA regulations, of course, as SpeechyKeenSLP so nicely reminded us.) After you’ve selected the client you’ll be collecting data on, select the desired phonological process (final consonant deletion, fronting, cluster reduction, prevocalic voicing, stopping, depalatalization, deaffrication, or gliding). Then choose from auditory training, contrast drill, or target drill.
Auditory training builds auditory awareness by showing the two words/pictures side-by-side (e.g. sail, tail). You can say the words to the child yourself to increase their auditory exposure. You can also record them saying the words and play it back, depending on if the child is able to do this accurately. I’ve found this is a versatile part of the app because you don’t have to use it one specific way; you can change up the purpose of it easily if you know your client’s abilities.
Contrast drill is similar but is intended to reinforce the difference between accurate and inaccurate productions. It shows the correct production (e.g. “rag”) and can then be “flipped over” to show the incorrect production (“wag”). As with all of these trials, you can replay and record as necessary.
Target drill allows for repetition of the target with consistent reinforcement. You can choose four, six, or nine repetitions. For example, if you choose four repetitions, four of the same picture of “park” will be displayed on the screen. If the child says park the first time incorrectly, mark it as such and that picture will be grayed out. If the child says park the second time correctly, mark it and that picture will have a star across it. Keep going until the child has said it the desired number of times (in this case, four).
It’s actually also very easy to switch between any of these sections, too. For example, if you start with auditory training and want to switch to target drill, there is a button within the app so you can seamlessly change without exiting that session and interrupting data collection. When you’re finished, you’ll be provided with a data page that you can either copy or email to yourself.
Therapy Applications: This app, of course, is meant to address phonological and articulation disorders. As I hinted at before, the app provides a structure for doing therapy, but it is easy to adapt it depending on your client’s abilities. I have only used this with children so far but believe it could be used with many adults.
Pros: 1. Easy navigation. The set-up of the app feels very natural. I particularly love how easy it is to switch between the three main sections without having to exit the session.
2. Add up to hundreds of clients. (This is actually new with the most recent update–the student limit used to be 75. How sad that this was actually a necessary update! Caseloads are getting CRAZY!)
3. Data collection. There are a number of things I like about this. First, the data “toolbar,” if you will, is upside down and facing the therapist, not the client. This simple feature alone means decreased distraction for the client and increased ease of use for the therapist. Second, once you take the data, the two data collection buttons gray out so you don’t accidentally count the trial more than once. This is also very subtle so the client doesn’t get distracted and you can still address the targets if needed. Third, it is very easy to view and email the data collected. Finally, the data history shows up each time you select the client’s name to start a new session. This is a helpful review in a handy spot!
4. Pictures are clear and not abstract.
5. The toolbar is wonderful. Again, you can take data, replay selections, record responses, go to next or previous trials, switch between sections, or end the session.
6. Easy customization. You can pick desired phonemes (single or multiple) for certain processes, select/deselect specific words, change the grade level of the child, etc.
7. Versatile. The app is intended for children, but I truly believe many adults would find it age-appropriate.
Cons: 1. Unfortunately, data can only be collected on one child at a time. Also, the child’s name/initials do not appear anywhere on the page during the trials.
2. Price. The cost of this app is reasonable considering the large number of trials and the cost of similar apps (in fact, it is the same price as the other minimal pairs app I reviewed); however, I definitely realize $30 is still steep for an SLP! If you are looking for a minimal pairs app, this is definitely a good choice. Just make sure to fully examine this review to make sure it is what you’re looking for. 🙂
The Take-Away: This app does a very nice job of providing a large number of minimal pairs for a number of phonological processes. It is easy to use, has wonderful data collection, and is age-appropriate for multiple age groups. It is worth the purchase if you are looking for a solid minimal pairs app.
My Questions for You: Have you used any minimal pairs apps yet in therapy? How do they compare to this one? What phonological processes do you typically use in therapy?
Looking for more expert reviews of this app? Check it out on YappGuru.com!
Disclosure: SLP TechTools provided me with a free copy of this app to review. I was not compensated in any way for the review, and they were aware that I would be discussing the app’s strengths and weaknesses.