Four Awesome Occupational Therapy Apps

occupational therapy apps

Occupational Therapy Apps

Occupational therapy apps add a technological element to the exercises many therapists use to strengthen speech, visual perception and motor skills in people suffering from a disability, such as children with learning disorders or stroke victims.

Occupational Therapy Apps for Speech

  1. Tap to Talk: This app allows those with no verbal skills to effectively communicate. In addition to the thousands of pictures that come with this application, users can add their own. The app supports English as well as many other languages. Available for use with both Apple and Android, as well as electronic readers.
  2. MyTalkTools: This was created by a parent whose child was born developmentally disabled. Uses SymbolStix and personal images. Drag and drop capabilities make for simple use. Available for iPod, iPad and the iPhone.

Occupational Therapy Apps for Fine Motor Skills and Visual Perception

  1. iWriteWords: This handy app makes writing fun and its quirky design makes it feel like a game. Individuals learn to write letters and spell words. Made for the iPhone and iPad.
  • Dexteria: Dexteria is meant to be challenging. Patients learn to improve grip through a series of timed activities. Great for stroke sufferers, as well as amputees forced to use a non-dominant hand. Available with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
  • Shelby’s Quest: Follow the story of Shelby through various levels. Created by an occupational therapist, this app not only tests finger isolation, but visual perception, too. Tracks the progress of multiple users. For use with the iPad.

Occupational Therapy Apps for the Therapist

  1. Super Duper Data Tracker: Track patients and students, manage objectives and personalize notes on this convenient app. Includes voice recorder for taking notes. Used with iPod, iPad, iPhone and Android.

Five Occupational Therapy Apps for iPhone

Occupational Therapy Apps

Technology available for the iPhone can be a boon for occupational therapists and their patients. But with Apple supporting over 140,000 applications, how can you wade through the trash to find the treasure? We have put together a list of the five best apps available for the iPhone that can be of tremendous value to therapists, doctors, and patients.

MedAlert – $0.99

This app is perfect for anyone who has trouble remembering to take their medications due to ADHD, the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, or simple forgetfulness. Fully programmable and customizable, you can input the drug name, patient, and the dosing schedule for multiple users. When it’s time for medication, the iPhone will alert the user. Therapists can recommend this app to patients who they suspect are missing doses, even if they will not admit it. This happens most often with elderly Alzheimer’s patients who try to avoid letting their symptoms show for fear of being taken from the home setting. Setting up this app for a patent allows them a greater sense of security and personal dignity in a difficult situation. The app is designed to be easy to use to avoid overwhelming the patient with new technology.

SoundAMP – Price Varies By Features

Not everyone with hearing loss is ready for hearing aids, but many still need help with clarity in certain situations, such as crowded areas. This app helps the hearing impaired by letting them record and playback. It also offers sound magnification, which is an excellent substitute to hold patients over until they can replace a lost hearing aid or dead battery. Therapists can suggest this app to anyone suffering from an auditory processing disorder or hearing problems.

Locabulary – Free

People who are deaf, stutter, or otherwise have difficulties speaking may benefit from this free app. It helps them communicate when they need assistance, instructions, or need to make simple statements. Through a menu of customizable simple phrases, the patient can tap the appropriate phrase and the app will speak on the patient’s behalf. The patient can also input the phrase to speak, making communication easier for the patient wherever he or she may go.

Occupational Therapy Apps
Photo by Carolyn Coles

Accessibility

This is already included with the new iPhone 3GS. This feature, available in 21 languages, speaks aloud to tell the user what each button or option on the screen will do. The patient need only touch the button to hear the function. This is great for anyone with vision problems, and also works with text input.

Islet Diabetes Assistant- $2.99

Therapists can recommend this handy app for anyone with diabetes, especially for the newly-diagnosed. This program allows the user to enter their blood sugar levels, insulin dosage, exercise, and carbohydrate intake. The results are then placed on a graph that can be shared with healthcare professionals. This method is far better than keeping hand-written logs or making unreliable guesses.

Jessica Bosari writes for TherapistSchools.com, a site that offers tips and advice for becoming a therapist and finding the best Occupational Therapist Schools. The site also helps students in other therapy fields such as Child and Addiction Therapies.

Is The iPad Just Another Touch Screen Notebook?

iPad Search

Earlier this year Apple computers announced that they would be releasing a new touch screen notebook computer called the iPad.  Actually the iPad falls into the new category called “slate computers“.  A slate computer is different than a touch screen laptop or a tablet computer in that there is no keyboard and very few buttons to interact with the computer.

iPad Search
iPad Search

The device is designed to be 100% touch screen controlled.  There was a lot of hype surrounding the announcement of the iPad and many people were quick to chime in on what they thought of the new product.  Most of these people had never even laid hands on it and we’re already telling the world whether or not they thought it was going to be any good.  A few select people got the chance to try out the iPad and most of them who did were very pleased with the way it functioned.

The iPad is different than a touch screen computer in that you completely interact with it via touch.  There is now keyboard. It is the first computer in its class to have users 100% relying on the touch screen to interface with the computer.  Many people didn’t think that it would take off like it did but in the first 30 days of the iPad being on the market, over two million units had sold.  At no point in time had an electronic device ever sold so many units so quickly.

The number of units sold is surprising because the price tag was not cheap.  The base model that has 16 GB of storage sold four right around $500.  The most expensive iPad is the 64 GB iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G capability.  This unit sells for about $899.  With the price tags set so high on these new slate computers, it really is quite surprising that so many units have already sold.  In the computer market, price point has been an important consideration for many computer buyers and consequently computer manufacturers have been producing computers at rock bottom prices.

The fact that consumers are willing to spend top dollar for this new device proves that people really are embracing touch screen technology on their computing devices.

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