One of the biggest changes over the past ten years I’ve been a speech therapist has been the development of tablets and app technology. When I first qualified, clip art and a laminator were must have tools and I spent hours creating, cutting out and laminating resources!
Now my iPad is the main tool I carry daily. Not only are there lots of speech therapy specific apps that I find really useful, it is my mobile office – email, calendar, camera, video, voice recorder…. (When I was training, mini discs were expected to be the next big thing, and I remember going to Tottenham Court Road to spend an excessive amount of money on one. It was so difficult to use, and quickly became a defunct technology. It’s amazing to think that now I can get a high quality speech recording via my phone!).
I plan to review the myriad of apps that I use with my clients – some are designed for adult acquired communication and swallowing disorders and some are not but I’ve found extraordinarily useful. I find the use of apps so motivating for clients – even people who have not used the technology before can get the hang of it very quickly, particulary the aphasia apps. I often find that very withdrawn people (cognitively or mood wise) will respond to my iPad better than anything else. Tablet technology is still very new, especially in the speech therapy world. It’s only going to grow and get better, so, although expensive, it is a very worthwhile investment in my opinion.