It’s All About Your Client Harness the Book Creator app to make treatment relevant to your clients’ lives. App-titude
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App-titude  |   March 01, 2016
It’s All About Your Client
Author Notes
  • Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie, looks at technology “through a language lens.” sean@speechtechie.com
    Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie, looks at technology “through a language lens.” sean@speechtechie.com×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / School-Based Settings / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / ASHA News & Member Stories / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / App-titude
App-titude   |   March 01, 2016
It’s All About Your Client
The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.21032016.np
The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.21032016.np
Centering treatment on clients is largely about context. Which contexts affect their communication skills positively or negatively? How can we reach out to families in simple, time-effective ways to learn more about these contexts and ease the transfer of skills to other settings?
Book Creator, an app widely acclaimed in educational circles, provides one effective means of doing this. Using it, you can “package” photos and videos provided by clients and families with language and skills being targeted in your sessions. Through the app, you can easily transfer these materials to clients and families for additional practice and exposure.
One advantage of this app (among many) is that it is available on multiple platforms (create one trial book free on Android and iOS; the full app is $2.49 and $4.99, respectively). This availability and affordability make the app accessible to clinicians and parents on a variety of devices.
Versatility
The key advantage of the app, however, is its versatility. A story created in Book Creator can include pictures and text—which we expect in any book—but it also can contain multimedia elements, such as recorded audio or video. Use the camera feature in the app to insert snapped or recorded images or to record a session. It’s simple to insert personally relevant images—such as the student’s classroom—into a book using the camera from a mobile device.
Other book-creation apps have restrictions on how to share their products (for example, requiring the involvement of the developers’ websites), but Book Creator allows you to share stories in multiple formats and through multiple channels: PDF, ePub or video book, emailed or exported to cloud services such as Google Drive or Dropbox. ePub, a multimedia format that contains the audio or video attached to the book, can easily be opened in the iBooks app or other ePub readers on any device—meaning the client and family do not have to own the Book Creator app to access the materials you share.
You can use Book Creator to build client-centered contexts in several ways.
Document successful strategies
Book Creator’s photo and video recording and insertion functions allow you to show your clients and students in action using speech production, reading comprehension, nonverbal language or virtually any other language strategies. You can also make comic-style books, or simply insert a thought or word-balloon shape, to model positive cognitive strategies along with a photo or video of your client.
After a recent training session that included this app, I was thrilled to see a colleague create and share with her client a several-page book helping the client recall how to do effective voice production exercises. Be sure to have approved procedures and or/releases detailing how you will share digital materials with clients, particularly materials that include images of clients and students.
Motivating contexts
ASHA documents on evidence-based practice stress that evidence-based practice includes “incorporation of … client/patient/caregiver values to provide high-quality services reflecting the interests, values, needs, and choices of the individuals we serve.” As we naturally want our clients and students to succeed in and enjoy treatment activities, it just makes sense to include contexts that target their interests as well as topics relevant to the curriculum.
Book Creator serves as a blank slate that can be filled with language on any topic: the visuals that will get students talking, the sketches you can put on top of photos, and the audio files you can simply insert.
Consider asking families for photos to construct a “talking photo album” around life events; these materials can target any goals, from micro (for example, pronouns) to macro (for example, storytelling), and can also serve as an augmentative and alternative communication support. I have also had success snapping screenshots of YouTube videos of interest to clients, inserting them along with audio narration, and sharing with their parents for review.
Although Book Creator is very easy to use, you may benefit from the developer tutorials on the app’s website.
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March 2016
Volume 21, Issue 3