best app to teach toddler to talk
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The 9 Best Speech Therapy Apps of 2022
Best Overall: Articulation Station
Best for Toddlers: Splingo
Best for Elementary: Speech Tutor
Best for Adults: Conversation Therapy
Best for Stroke Patients: Naming Therapy
Best for Autism: LAMP Words for Life
Best for Non-Communicators: Proloquo2Go
Best for Apraxia: Apraxia Therapy
Best for Stuttering: DAF Pro
Best Speech Therapy Apps
LAMP Words For Life
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Why We Chose It: Multiple activities designed to help kids practice words, sentences, and comprehension will help your child boost their speech skills in no time.
Stories and sounds at different levels
Special S, L, and R sound programs
Voice recording for playback
Data tracking and progress notes
Only one letter is included for free
All other letters require individual purchase
Doesn’t work well for use in groups
Articulation Station from Little Bee Speech is one of the most comprehensive articulation apps designed for children to learn how to pronounce and practice different sounds. The program allows users to practice at the word, sentence, and story level in 22 sounds that target the initial, medial, and final positions of words. Most of the sounds have 60 target words.
Users can choose from these six different practice activities:
Flashcards: Practice sounds with over 1,200+ pictures.
Level 1 stories: Short and silly rhymes that come with picture prompts and comprehension questions.
Level 2 stories: Short and creative stories with comprehension questions.
Matching game: Match like items while practicing the sounds.
Rotating sentences: Practice target sounds with rotating words in a fixed sentence.
Unique sentences: Practice each target word and sounds in a new sentence.
As a bonus, you can tailor the experience to your child’s needs by creating your own flashcards with custom images. Articulation Station is free, and it’s available on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. For a more comprehensive program, you can upgrade to Articulation Station Pro.
BEST FOR TODDLERS
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Why We Chose It: By starting at level one and working their way up to level four, your toddler can build a foundational understanding of language that will last a lifetime.
Kid-friendly outer space theme
Levels increase in difficulty as your child ages
Enhances listening skills as well as language skills
Not very customizable
Some users complain of frequent issues with sound
The Splingo app from the Speech and Language Store offers children a way to learn listening and language skills by playing a fun, interactive game with aliens and spaceships. The app was designed by speech and language therapists to focus on nouns, verbs, prepositions, and adjectives. It comes with a range of age possibilities, including early language development to a much more complex level of combining several aspects of language at once.
In order to customize the app to each level, Splingo breaks the content down further into four groups.
Level 1: Uses one main word. Appropriate for 18 months and older.
Level 2: Uses two main words. For kids with a developmental level of two to three-years-old.
Level 3: Uses three main words. For kids with a developmental level of three to four-years-old.
Level 4: Uses four main words. For kids with a developmental level of four-years-old and older.
The Splingo app costs $2.99, and it is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It does require iOS 8.0 or later.
BEST FOR ELEMENTARY
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Why We Chose It: Animated movies with adjustable speeds let you visualize how sounds are created in the mouth and throat, making even the most challenging sounds easier to overcome.
Professional-grade articulation practice
2D videos let you see inside the mouth as sounds are made
Can be used for kids and adults
Not all features are available for initial price
Could be frustrating to use if you aren’t a speech pathologist
Speech Tutor from Synapse Apps uses 2-D animated movies that allow you to see a side view and front view inside the head. These views give you the opportunity to see each sound production without the tongue getting in the way. In other words, you can actually see inside the mouth to watch sounds being made. This helps you understand exactly how to place your tongue or move your throat to make a specific sound—something you can’t do on your own.
With 132 animations available, this comprehensive app gives will prompt you to select a sound, watch how it is made, and then practice making the sound. It also comes with tips from licensed speech and language pathologists (SLP’s).
Additionally, you can play the movies at three speeds including, slow, medium, and fast. Plus, as you practice target sounds, the app will record you, then play it before and after a correctly modeled production.
Speech Tutor app costs $19.99 and it is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It does require iOS 8.0 or later. If you’re looking for something more advanced or you’re a speech therapist, consider upgrading to the Speech Tutor Pro. This extensive app costs $49.99, but you also get two screens, an SLP-friendly screen, and a parent-friendly screen.
BEST FOR ADULTS
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Why We Chose It: “Speech therapy” encompasses more than simply making letter sounds; it also means learning how to effectively communicate in conversation. This app boosts skills so adults with disabilities, injuries, or delays can learn the nuances of conversational give-and-take.
Pictures paired with questions increase situational learning
Multi-pronged approach to conversation, including fluency and cognition
Trial period is too short to assess whether it’s right for you
Some content may not be appropriate for kids
The Conversation Therapy app from Tactus Therapy was designed to spark conversation between people, including small and large groups. The app is an excellent addition for anyone who has difficulty expressing themselves clearly, including stroke survivors, those living with Autism and Asperger’s, and anyone with speech or language impairment, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or traumatic brain injury.
To use the app at home, start by choosing from one of the 12 categories of interest such as health, current events, or hobbies. When the picture is displayed on the screen, you can touch any of the 10 buttons to see a question ranging from simple sentence starters to more complex questions that require advanced answers.
The app includes over 300 pictures with 10 questions for each photo, which means combined with the 12 categories you have over 3,000 question prompts to choose from when looking for conversation starters. And it features 10 languages including English, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Zulu. Conversation Therapy costs $24.99, and it requires iOS 9.0 or later. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
BEST FOR STROKE PATIENTS
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Why We Chose It: The flashcards and practice drills in this app can help stroke patients recover their ability to match names to everyday people, places, and things.
Improves user’s ability to retrieve the correct word
Quizzes, tests, and flashcards practice
You can upload your own photos to practice your real-life challenges
Interface could be confusing for stroke patients to use without assistance
Limited diversity in app models
Naming Therapy from Tactus Therapy aims to tackle one of the most challenging tasks a stroke victim has to contend with: anomia or being able to recall names of people and words for everyday objects.
Naming Therapy comes with four parts to help you practice recall skills:
Describe: Learn how to describe an item to someone else by answer questions.
Flashcards: 700+ pictures you can flip through and practice saying. Touch the picture, and the name will be read aloud.
Naming Practice: Practice naming 400+ pictures on your own. If you don’t get it right away, use one of the cues to help you find the name.
Naming Test: Take a screening test to see how many pictures you can name.
If you’re ready to move from the standard program, Tactus Therapy also offers an Advanced Naming Therapy app, which is the sequel to the Naming Therapy App. This is an excellent option for people with more mild language problems. It’s also a great tool to use when you leave speech therapy. Like the original Naming Therapy app, the price of the Advanced Naming Therapy is $24.99 and is available for iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod touch, and Android tablets/phones.
BEST FOR AUTISM
LAMP Words for Life
LAMP Words for Life
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Why We Chose It: Utilizing symbols for autistic children who struggle with verbal communication, LAMP Words for Life focuses on developing the common patterns of speech and conversation.
Works for multiple levels of communicators, from beginning to advanced
3,000+ vocabulary words
Text-to-speech feature for non-verbal users
Minimal instruction makes it hard to use or program the app for your needs
No mobile device features
May be cost-prohibitive for some users
LAMP Words for Life app from Prentke Romich Company is designed specifically for children with autism to be used with Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP). According to the website, LAMP Words for Life provides a consistent motor pattern for words and a systematic way to develop communication skills allowing for unlimited language growth opportunities.
There are three levels of vocabulary within the app that support language development from any skill level including introductory, which has 83 words, transition, and full vocabulary that gives you access to over 3,000 words.
The symbols-based approach makes this app appropriate for beginning communicators, as well as older children with Autism that have advanced language skills. Every picture symbol on the front page represents a verb, noun, adjective, and category.
LAMP Words for Life costs $299.99 and it’s available for use with an iPad, iOS 11 or later. While the app is significantly more expensive than many other apps, the ratings among users are the highest in this category and you can expect to use LAMP Words for Life for several years.
BEST FOR NON-COMMUNICATORS
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Why We Chose It: Realistic text-to-speech makes it possible for non-verbal patients to communicate again—and, when possible, rebuild their own verbal communication skills.
Helps users communicate non-verbally and improve skills
100+ natural text-to-speech voices, including children’s and bilingual
Organization features make it easy to access and track progress
Overly complex interface
Many kids may not be able to use it without assistance
May be cost-prohibitive for some users
Proloquo2Go app from AssistiveWare uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to help people who are unable to speak, develop communication and language skills. The app is appropriate for all levels and you can customize it for a range of visual and fine-motor skills. You can also adapt it to fit your vocabulary and accessibility needs which makes Proloquo2Go an excellent choice for people with cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, a traumatic brain injury, ALS, or have suffered a stroke.
Users are able to select a real recorded voice that speaks for them when using the symbols. Both children and adults can choose from 100 natural-sounding text-to-speech voices. For people who can learn to speak again, Proloquo2Go allows them to continue communicating as they work through speech therapy or rehab to build skills.
Proloquo2Go costs $249.99, and it’s available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch.
BEST FOR APRAXIA
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Why We Chose It: This app combines audio, visual, and tactical approaches to help patients with apraxia strengthen their communication skills.
Multi-sensory approach including tactile and audio learning
Choose-your-own phrases to practice based on what you need most
Record yourself for playback and correction
Not as customizable as other apps
May not be as helpful for mildly impaired users
Apraxia Therapy from Tactus Therapy is a comprehensive app designed to help people with apraxia, a speech disorder, overcome their ability to say what they want correctly and consistently.
The app uses VSAT, or Video-Assisted Speech Therapy, to help users repeat what they hear and see by watching the model’s mouth movements on the video. As you listen, the app encourages you to tap along in rhythm, and also speak in unison, which gives you a tactile and verbal experience. When the audio begins to fade, you will be prompted to continue repeating what you see by continuing with the video.
The Apraxia Therapy app allows you to work at three different speeds, so you can tailor the program for your needs. It also features conversational phrases that you might use on a daily basis. Additionally, the app records your voice as you speak along with the video. You can then go back and listen to the recording to see how you are progressing.
Apraxia Therapy costs $24.99, and it’s available on your iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod touch, Android tablets, and Android phones.
BEST FOR STUTTERING
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Why We Chose It: DAF Pro works just as well for people who stutter as it does for people with neurological disorders, making it a good choice for slowing down and correcting speech across a spectrum of users.
Learn to alter your speech with recorded playback
Teaches you to slow down and speak more clearly
App can run in the background without draining your battery
Many users report problems with microphone connectivity
Not adjustable for different speech patterns
The DAF Pro app from Speech Tools helps users who struggle with stuttering or stammering slow their speech down to make it clearer for others to understand. While originally designed for stuttering and stammering, DAF Pro is also recommended for people who have a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s. DAF, which stands for Delayed Auditory Feedback, is a speech and language therapy tool that was created to help people who speak at a fast rate to speak more slowly.
DAF technology allows you to hear your speech in an altered manner. First, you record your voice. Then, while DAF Pro runs in the background, you get to listen to your speech in an altered manner, which causes a disruption to the normal auditory feedback loop prompting you to slow your speech down. DAF Pro requires the use of headphones while using the app.
DAF Pro costs $2.99, and it requires iOS 10.0 or later. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is also available on Google Play for $2.99.
For kids with speech delays or who simply need some extra practice, Articulation Station and Splingo combine fun and engaging platforms with kid-friendly instruction. Adults who need assistance improving their conversation skills because of developmental delays or medical conditions will appreciate the Q&A approach of Conversation Therapy, while stroke patients can work to rebuild their vocabulary with Naming Therapy.
Speech Therapy Apps Price Age Range(s) Devices
Best Overall Free for one letter; additional letters $4-$8 or $60 for full program Kids Apple
Best for Toddlers $3 Kids Apple
Best for Elementary $20 Kids and adults Apple
Best for Adults $25 Adults Apple and Android
Best for Stroke Patients $25 Adults Apple and Android
LAMP Words for Life
Best for Stroke Patients $300 Kids Apple
Best for Non-Communicators $250 Kids and adults Apple
Best for Apraxia $25 Adults Apple and Android
Best for Stuttering $3 Adults Apple and Google
What Is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is the assessment and treatment of problems with speech, communication, language, and swallowing. It focuses on receptive and expressive language, as well as the mechanics of speaking, such as articulation, pitch, fluency, and volume.
Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists, provide services that focus on improving a patient’s ability to improve communication and understand and express language. They use a variety of techniques depending on the type of disorder, including articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and oral motor therapy.
Who Needs Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy can treat a broad range of speech and language delays and disorders that develop in childhood or in adults as a result of an injury or illness. Kids who are not reaching the developmental milestones for speech and showing signs of possible delay may need speech therapy. A speech therapist can do an assessment to determine the type of speech or communication disorder and the best way to treat it.
Can Speech Therapy Be Done at Home?
Speech therapy can sometimes be done at home by parents and other caregivers. If you’re concerned about any aspect of your child’s speech or language development, you should first see your child’s pediatrician.
If it turns out your child has a mild delay or articulation issue, at-home speech therapy can be especially helpful. More serious problems, such as speech regression, should definitely be addressed by a licensed speech therapist.
You should also consider your child’s age and temperament when making this decision. It can be difficult to do at-home speech therapy if they are very young or get frustrated easily. Professional help may also be recommended if your child has another developmental issue in addition to a speech delay.
If you want to try speech therapy at home as a starting point or to supplement professional therapy, there are plenty of resources, including language development games and toys, books, and speech therapy apps.
How Much Do Speech Therapy Apps Cost?
The cost of speech therapy apps varies depending on how comprehensive they are and the breadth and depth of their features. Basic apps can start at $3, while more advanced ones can cost up to $300. Some of the more expensive apps are very thorough and are intended to be used for a wide range of ages and disorders, so some people may determine that they’re worth the investment.
There is a wide range of reasons for needing a speech therapy app (from typical childhood delays to developmental disorders to stroke patients), so some apps will be low-cost and some will be expensive depending on the user’s needs—because of this spectrum, we couldn’t judge an app based on its price, but we did consider how each app educates its users. We searched for apps that included text-to-speech features, adjustable speeds for playback, visual demonstrations of how sounds are created in the mouth, and plenty of opportunities to practice, practice, practice. We also looked for apps that were designed by speech and language therapists (or frequently used by these professionals in their work).
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