I’ve recently been contacted by a developer of SpeechPrompts to review this app. Interestingly it couldn’t have come at a better time since a number of colleagues asked me questions regarding which apps do I use to address abnormal prosody especially for children with ASD, and I use a number of techniques, I have yet to use any apps.
So what does SpeechPrompts app do?
It allows individuals with ASD who have abnormal prosody to practice rate, rhythm, stress and loudness of their speech.
When you open the app and bypass registration. You will see a main screen (above) with three main features located on the bottom left of the screen Library, Voice Match and Voice Chart.
LIBRARY includes a variety of categorized images including a file with 50 Teacher waveforms.
However, you can also add your own recordings for later use in VoiceMatch. The Library can be searched or browsed for clips. You can also categorize, label and re-record samples if needed.
VOICEMATCH: Has visual and aural feedback re: stress, rate and rhythm of speech. Compares (waveforms and audio playbacks) of “Teacher” voice recording to a “Student” voice recording both visually and aurally. Student needs to match the Teacher waveform by repeating the phrase/sentence aloud. Visual differences can be highlighted between the two audio recordings (e.g., point to the differences on the screen and discuss). You can ask students to repeat attempts to match the waveform more closely. Waveforms can be trimmed using scissors, and slowed down in speed. However, it is important to note that with this feature the individual has to clearly understand directions and expectations, so this would be appropriate for more high functioning children and not appropriate for all.
VOICECHART is essentially a editable ‘visual thermometer’ which is really appropriate for many children with varying levels of cognition and skills. The “bear” gives you real-time feedback on your speech loudness and shows if you are “Too Loud,” “Too Quiet,” or “Just Right”. An animated meter on the right changes color based on the current volume level.
If you hit the edit button in VoiceChart you can also adjust Sensitivity for usage in quiet vs. loud environments You can also record multiple variations of a phrase, to emphasize different words (e.g., “I see a ‘bunch’ of bananas” vs. “I ‘see’ a bunch of bananas”). Then, switch to VoiceMatch to teach how emphasizing different words can change the meaning of a phrase.
After I read the user manual, navigation was pretty easy. However, for those of you who are hands on “poking around” in the app, will get you acclimated to its usage in no time.