App: Magical Concepts
Developer: Virtual Speech Center, Inc.
Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (English)
Category: AAC Apps
Magical Concepts App Teaches Kids Conceptual Skills
Magical Concepts by Virtual Speech Center is an impressive app that would be a useful addition to iPads used by speech and language therapists or parents assisting their kids with conceptual skills. Speech and language therapy often incorporates conceptual skill work in order to best prepare students to follow classroom rules and directions with increasing independence. For example, if a teacher instructs the students to place their books under the desk, students must understand the concept of under. Children with disabilities in speech and language often have deficits with regard to conceptual words and require direct instruction in this area.
Therapists work with children on conceptual words including locational, temporal (time), numerical descriptive, and social-emotional. A time-tested way to teach and reinforce these conceptual skills is to use flash cards to drill the word meanings.
Magical Concepts incorporates over 60 conceptual words and provides the student with over 2000 photographs that illustrate the concepts.
The student listens to a statement, such as “Touch the picture that shows the balloon under the bowl.” He then chooses from a screen like the one above. The magic theme is fun and engaging, the app is easy to use, and the features of the app make it a useful assessment tool for therapists.
One great feature of the app is that the user can import all of the names of the students he services, create settings that best suit each student’s needs, and save the data after each session. This is valuable because the app also allows for reports to be created based on the sessions completed, and such reports would be helpful for the therapists to report progress of students to other staff members and the parents. The reports can be easily emailed directly from the app.
The app also has a built-in reward system to reinforce success. For each correct answer, the student earns a star, and when the child earns enough stars, she is rewarded with a cartoon magic show that can be viewed immediately or at the end of the session.
Though perhaps one of the pricier apps out there for conceptual skills work, Magical Concepts is certainly worth the cost. Children will enjoy the activities, and therapists will appreciate the many useful assessment features.
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