Speech Blubs: Language Therapy

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
Speech Blubs: Language Therapy App Poster Image
Exceptional speech practice via video and fun photo filters.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

App includes 1500+ opportunities for children to learn to speak new words and sounds in order to expand their vocabulary and communication skills. Parents can fill out a survey that asks questions about their child's language development to identify whether there are communication concerns, and if they should consult a speech language pathologist for further testing.

Ease of Play

Categories and games within the app are easy to navigate. The format of games and video models are consistent and predictable. App is designed to engage younger players who can follow simple directional prompts to take a photo or to touch an arrow when transitioning to another page.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Speech Blubs: Language Therapy is an education app for kids that uses video modeling as a tool to encourage kids to speak new words and ultimately build their vocabulary for language and communication. While the app can be helpful for any child who could benefit from learning to speak, Speech Blubs is a great tool to assist children who are struggling with learning to talk by using short, engaging videos, fun photo filters and animated content. A one week trial period is provided with full access to all content. Afterwards the subscription fee is $14.49/month; $65/yr; or a one time $99.99 fee to use the app forever. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

SPEECH BLUBS: LANGUAGE THERAPY is tool to help expose kids to new vocabulary, which may ultimately encourage children to speak more. Kids have the opportunity to learn new vocabulary by watching short, repetitive videos of other children saying new words they might encounter in their day-to-day lives. In the video model, the child states the word and speaks it very clearly, many times, sometimes even using a coordinating physical gesture. The kid interacting with the app is encouraged to listen first and then imitate the word by speaking it as clearly as they can on their own. During the process, a fun photo filter will also appear on the screen. The child or parent can take a photo of themselves interacting with the word in more detail. Informative videos with illustrations and animations also share pertinent information about the word to enhance incidental learning and answering, "Who, What, Where, Which, When, Why and How" questions. A sticker will appear on the screen in the category, showing the words the kid has finished the steps practicing.  Words, sounds, songs, riddles and gestures to imitate and interact with are sorted into 25 different categories including things like Early Sounds, Getting Dressed, Outdoor Wonders, Living Colors, Petting Zoo, and more. There are 1500+ different opportunities for learning to build skills within the app.

Immediately after signing up, parents are asked to answer questions about their child's language milestones and communication history,though they can skip this section. If they use it, a basic report is created immediately, which shares strategies for parents to promote next steps in their individual child's language and communication skills. In addition to practical strategies parents can offer at home to promote milestones, there are suggested games and activities to prioritize the child's needs, based on their parent's ratings of their present skill levels. Should there be red flags in the child's language development, the app makes suggestions to consider calling a speech language pathologist for further evaluation.Multiple users can be setup in the app, so parents with more than one child can personalize settings. Since practice and repetition aid learning, parents can set reminders in the app to use it on specific days of the week, for a certain timeframe. A progress section logs the amount of time the kid used the app each day. 

 

Is it any good?

This tool is a fun and unique way to get kids struggling with speech to find their voice. When kids are learning to talk, they need to hear environmental sounds and words repeatedly before they'll begin to imitate gestures and sounds. While for some this is a natural part of their development, many children struggle with learning to communicate, and as a result are unable to build their vocabulary to use to get their wants and needs met throughout the day without frustration. Speech Blubs is an excellent tool to expose young kids to vocabulary words and sounds in a fun way that they'll want to use. Kids love to interact with photo filters, and this option alone will have many kids coming back repeatedly for fun. While $99.99 is certainly a significant upfront cost for forever use of the app, during the free trial, parents receive full access to the entire app for the first seven days in order to make an informed decision about purchasing for their family. Also, speech language pathologists may find this to be an invaluable resource when working with children of different ages and skill levels. While Speech Blubs is not a replacement for a speech language pathologist or professional assistance, it provides a substantial amount of learning opportunities for kids who need practice and repetition in order to build confidence and skills for communication.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Speech Blubs: Language Therapy uses video modeling and imitation to learn new skills in a fun way.  Instead of needing to read directions or follow commands, kids just need to have fun, watch the video, and do their best to imitate what they see, without worrying about their performance to build skills. Does your family like to play Simon Says? That's a great activity to help kids imitate motor skills and gestures!

  • Learning to talk can be very frustrating for some children, especially if they have an underlying diagnosis or disorder that makes imitation of sounds and words difficult. What some children can do easily, others have to use practice and repetition to build skills and confidence. What's a good plan if your child shows frustration and is upset with activities they can not do? What helps to calm them down with frustration?

  • Scheduling opportunities to practice can lead to better skills and improved communication. The app has great features to help with data tracking and scheduling. Are there certain days of the week and times of the day that work best for you to schedule a time to practice and play along with your child?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (seven-day free trial then $14.49/mo; $59.99/yr)
  • Release date: November 16, 2018
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 154.10 MB
  • Publisher: Blub Blub Inc.
  • Version: 5.2.4
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.2 or later
  • Last updated: September 6, 2019

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