As a parent to two children with speech and language challenges I am always keen to try different ways to support communication development. Here is our experience of using the Otsimo Speech Therapy app.
I have received free access to the Otsimo Speech Therapy app in exchange for this honest review. However all words and opinions are my own based on our experience.
The Otsimo Speech Therapy App
The Otsimo Speech Therapy app is designed to support children with autism and communication difficulties by improving speech development. It includes a nice range of sections:
- Basic shapes
- Family names
- Body parts
- Imitating sounds (animal noises)
- Count with me
- Tongue acrobatics
You can see from the list that most core vocabulary is included with food being the only thing missing for me.
The Otsimo Speech Therapy app is based around listening and imitating. For each word or phrase a child repeats the word a number of times in a video on the app, this is brilliant for children that mimic or copy. My 6 year old is non verbal and he needs lots of processing time, whilst he doesn’t copy what the children are saying, he is listening and watching.
It is great that young children have been used in the videos as I think kids are often more interested in their peers than adults. While my son might not pay attention to his peers in real situations he is very interested in watching them on TV / videos so he enjoyed watching the children speaking.
It is also great that the words are on the screen as it is being said with an icon at the top. This really helps improve reading skills and comprehension of the verbal word. I think my son understands a good number of words and this really helps to confirm the words meaning as he hears them said.
As mentioned he needs lots of processing time so being able to listen to the children say the words over and over allows him to take it in at his own pace.
After you have watched the children on the app say the words or phrases a microphone comes up to highlight it is your child’s turn to speak. At the same time the screen switches to a camera mode so your child can now see themselves which helps them see the movements their mouth makes when speaking. It also pops up with a fun sticker related to the word and allows you to take a silly photo of yourself. See my silly pics below.
My son thought this was really funny and enjoyed taking funny pictures of himself.
Speech development is about so much more than actually speaking, along with listening and attention skills, we need to have the ability to move our tongues to make different sounds. This is why I like the use of the tongue acrobatics section on the Otsimo Speech Therapy app.
The children in the app show different tongue and mouth movements like touching your nose with your tongue. Your child can then try it out and watch themselves in the camera.
With my kids they needed more support with this app and I needed to sit with them while using it. This is fine and actually most speech therapy I would expect to be engaging with my child. Having said that I imagine in time children would be happy to use it more independently.
My 4 year old who is speaking enjoyed watching himself say words in the camera, he has a short attention span so being able to dip in a small amount each day is ideal. My 6 year old was keen to watch the children and listen but he rarely copies so only attempted the few words he is already confident in. Having said that I hope this approach may help to improve his pronunciation in time as at the moment he only makes sounds for parts of a word.
Value for Money
The Otsimo Speech Therapy app is priced at £52.99 for a year or £14.99 a month so much better value to purchase for a whole year. A child who likes to copy might get a lot out of this app in a short time whilst kids like mine will need to use it over a longer time period before we see the results.
I have not come across an app that has words spoken like this in videos before so it it is great to have a new approach.
I have also reviewed the Otsimo app which is fantastic for visual learners like my kids.