Phonological Awareness App Evaluates Children with Reading Difficulties

in Education (E)

[] Dallas, Texas - In recent years, clinicians and educators are beginning to recognize that fostering phonological awareness skills in children helps them to learn more effectively once they become aware of the sounds within their language. As phonological awareness skills relate to literary development and speech sound, studies have shown that these foundational skills contribute to children's early success in reading, writing, and speech and language development. The first step in this process is to measure the children's skills to determine the type of treatment needed and which areas should be the main focus.

Developed by Canadian Speech-Language Pathologist, Tanya Coyle and published by Smarty Ears, Profile for Phonological Awareness (Pro-PA) was created to evaluate and describe the phonological awareness skills in children with speech, language, and/or reading difficulties. Pro-PA aids speech therapists and teachers in collecting information and gives them the ability to choose which areas of skill development to target and measure their student or patient's treatment effectiveness and skill growth over time.

Pro-PA provides its users with the ability to enter students' information, track their progress, and quickly view a student's skill level or a group's average skill level with color coded scores. The versatile app provides automatic analyses in the following skill areas: blending, deleting, isolating, rhyming, segmenting, and substituting. It also features a color changing counter that helps students to visualize segmenting and provides them with support when attempting segmenting.

Tanya Coyle states, "Whether you are assessing an individual child or entire classrooms, the Pro-PA can give you the information you need about each student's, or group's, strengths and weaknesses. Then, you can target weaknesses more specifically and improve student outcomes."

Pro-PA provides teachers and speech therapists with the flexibility of choosing which sections to administer and the option of skipping sections without compromising the totals in other areas. Most areas are tested with separate information about consonant clusters. Another excellent feature of Pro-PA is the option to add notes throughout the assessment; for faster administration, users can utilize prewritten common errors or answer patterns. Once administration is complete, the results can be immediately emailed and printed.

"As a school board SLP, I include phonological awareness skills in almost every student assessment I do. I have found that it is an important (but often overlooked) skill for reading and writing, as well as articulation skills and auditory processing," she continues, "I created the Pro-PA to use in my own practice, but also with the functionality that many educators and other SLPs may want in a phonological awareness test."

Profile of Phonological Awareness is appropriate for individuals in all age groups; it is currently available for $29.99 and can be purchased from the iTunes app store. The app is compatible with the iPad running iOS 4.0 or above.

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 4.0 or later
* 38.3 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Profile of Phonological Awareness 1.0.1 is $29.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category.

Smarty Ears was founded in december of 2009 by Barbara Fernandes, a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association. Smarty Ears was the first company to create apps geared towards speech therapy for mobile devices. Smarty Ears' first application, called Mobile Articulation Probes(name changed to Smarty Speech in 2011) was released in January of 2010 and it has helped many speech therapists to make sessions more dynamic and engaging. Fourteen month later, Smarty Ears has created over 21 applications for children with speech and language delays and disorders such as Stuttering, articulation delays, autism, down syndrome, and language disorders. Our goal is to provide the best tools that engage every children to learn, develop appropriate communication skills and become better communicators. Copyright (C) 2012 Smarty Ears. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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