If you are a parent, carer or teaching looking for support tools to help your child with their speech development, you are going to love this list! Put together by our team of speech therapists at www.therapyconnect.com.au, this list of tools and apps is a combination of everything we find fun and helpful! We hope you enjoy this information and please keep us in mind if you or somebody you know could benefit from paediatric telehealth speech therapy services – we have a big, caring team and work across Australia.

  1. Boom Cards

Boom Learning is a platform and set of tools for creating and assigning Boom Cards which are cloud-based digital learning resources, such as digital flash / task cards, quizzes, interactive lessons and more. Boom Learning can be used with in-person learning but also excels in remote learning. Kirstyn from Therapy Connect has put together a helpful introductory video on Boom Cards to share with our team. We are happy to share it with you too! 

With the wide variety of Boom Cards that you can purchase and / or create, you can provide personalised learning, customised for your clients’ specific needs.

  1. Google Jamboard

Jamboard is a digital whiteboard that lets you collaborate with up to 50 other users in real time using either the Jamboard device, web browser or mobile app.

Using Jamboard on a computer, you can use a web browser to:

  • Write and draw using a mouse or trackpad.
  • Search Google and insert images or webpages.
  • Drag and resize text and images.
  • Open your jam on a Jamboard device.

While Jamboard was originally developed to enable team collaboration in the business world, it can also be a really useful tool for therapy.

  1.  HelpKidzLearn

HelpKidzLearn is a collection of software for young children and those with learning difficulties to play online. The software is split into five sections: Early Years, Games and Quizzes, Stories and Songs, Creative Play and Find Out About.

We use its motivational games and songs using screen sharing to help engage with children online.

  1. Zoom videoconferencing program

We choose to use Zoom because:

It is easy for clients to join a meeting. They just need to click on a link we send by email.

The screen sharing function is great. You can share the desktop, a whiteboard and iPad and iPhone apps. You can share your computer’s audio which is important when you are sharing a program that has sound. You can give remote control of your screen to your client.

It is free for 1:1 meetings or for the first 40 minutes of a group meeting. I chose to buy Zoom Pro so I can access reports about my meetings, particularly the duration of meetings. I can also host group meetings without any time limits.

Sessions can be recorded (with permission of course!)

  1. Ookla Speed Test

Ookla Speed Test is a quick and reliable way to trouble shoot internet connection problems. When videoconference quality is a problem, both parties can do a speed test to determine whether the internet speed is adequate to support videoconferencing. Sometimes internet speed can be increased by moving to another room or moving closer to the router. At the least, you can see which end of the conference is having difficulty.

WARNING: Don’t be tricked into clicking on any advertising on the speed test page!

  1. Small whiteboard and marker.

A whiteboard and marker can be really useful therapy tools! They can be used to write (or draw) the session’s activities on and then cross them off as completed. They can be used for barrier games, to demonstrate what you would like a helper to draw on a page and, in the worst case scenario, to give written instructions about how to turn on the computer audio!

  1. ABC Kids and PBS Kids

The ABC KIDS website is designed to appeal primarily to pre-school children. It provides a gateway to online content relating to ABC KIDS TV programming, as well as providing games and activities that will appeal to this age group.

PBS Kids is the brand for most of the children’s programming aired by the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States. It has educational games and videos from Curious George, Wild Kratts and other PBS KIDS shows.

  1. ABCya

ABCya is a program of online educational games for grades PreK through 6 that will keep kids engaged and having fun.

  1. EPIC! Books

Epic! is an e-library with over 20,000 books for children 12 and under. The library includes a large selection of fiction and non-fiction titles which can be read together online or the child can choose a ‘Read-to-me’ book which is read aloud. It can be difficult to demonstrate how to read books together online unless you each have a hard copy of the same book at either end of the videoconference. Using screen sharing, we can demonstrate how to use books for language modelling and comprehension and then give feedback to the helper to develop their skills.

  1. YouTube

There are no limits to the way YouTube can be used in therapy – other than your imagination! YouTube videos can be used for picture description, story retell, sequencing, building vocabulary, learning about social communication or practising speech sounds.

Other tools that are helpful in therapy include:

  • https://myfoodslibrary.com/ – Not communication but helpful for clients with feeding goals. “Developed by Pediatric Occupational Therapists to help children and families build a positive relationship with food and mealtimes, and add to your picky eater’s accepted and preferred foods. Use MFL to “check out’’ foods, different preparations of food items, and get creative with what you are serving!” Search for new items similar to your safe foods, try out new foods and preparations using our helpful How-To’s, and ask a librarian (licensed professional) for advice and additional tips.
  • https://wow.boomlearning.com/ – Lots of great free decks available.
  • https://www.emotionalabcs.com/ – “Emotional ABCs is an evidence-based, interactive program that helps children understand and manage their emotions.”
  • ‘My PlayHome Plus’ https://apps.apple.com/us/app/my-playhome-plus/id1489812608 – Lots can be targeted including concepts, categories, following/giving directions, sequencing, Wh- questions, building vocabulary, turn taking, negations, pronouns, prepositions, problems & solutions, I spy.
  • ‘ChatterBoards AAC’ https://apps.apple.com/us/app/chatterboards-aac/id1133918740 – I haven’t given it a good go, but I’ve heard some great things about it being free and accessible.
  • ‘Auslan Tutor: Key Signs’ https://apps.apple.com/au/app/auslan-tutor-key-signs/id390629037

About Therapy Connect

Therapy Connect is a multi-disciplinary allied health telehealth therapy service that supports children and families across Australia with speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, dietetics and physiotherapy services.

We offer a coordinated team approach meaning that families can access Therapy Anywhere Anytime. And we work with each family to coordinate your therapy to help your child achieve their goals stress-free.

For more information please visit www.therapyconnect.com.au and fill in an enquiry form, or contact our friendly customer support team on 1300 757 806.