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Dr. Max Gomez: iPad Apps Let Children Continue Speech Therapy At Home

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Perfect pronunciation can be a tough skill for children, but now they don’t have to face years of speech therapy.

As CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported, computers and iPads are helping fix speech issues faster.

Like many kids, William Brown is comfortable with new technology.

“I use it for like games, and apps,” he said.

Now, he can also use technology to work on his pronunciation, during sessions with his speech pathologist and when he’s at home using apps on his iPad.

“It’s been really helpful as a parent. I can have him sit down at the counter as I’m fixing dinner and I can listen to him and hear that he’s doing it correctly,” mother, Lisa Brown said.

The popularity of the iPad has generated an explosion of speech therapy apps to help kids work on their speech from the comfort of home or even on the go.

Experts say applications like ‘Articulation Station’ and ‘Vowelviz’ encourage kids to practice, because they are more like interactive games than static flash cards.

“It helps them to stay focused on something that requires a lot of drill and a lot of practice in order for them to get better with their articulation skills,” speech language pathologist Kimberly Jasensky said.

Extra practice at home can help therapy progress faster.

“It does take away some of the time that we initially had to work on therapy, but it doesn’t take away from just the good old traditional hard work,” speech language pathologist Colleen Mitchell said.

That work should start in the traditional therapy session, and parents considering at-home tools should work with a speech pathologist to prevent children from developing bad habits.

“They can develop habits that are going to actually cause more problems for them in the long run,” Mitchell said.

William has been able to develop good habits by recording and playing back each drill.

“These apps, and the technology have played a big part for William in continuing on his progression,” Lisa said.

Experts say it is important to help kids develop clear speech. Classmates, teachers, and even future employers often judge a person on how they speak.

The apps range in price from free up to $50.

As convenient as the apps are they can make things worse if not used correctly. That’s why the speech pathologist is still important.

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