Friday, September 14, 2012

Visual Attention TherAppy




Tactus Therapy Solutions has a new member of the family. They recently released Visual Attention TherAppy. Users are asked to scan left to right across a page of letters and symbols to find the matching icons from the key at the top of the page. The catch is that each round is timed.
Practice Mode
As you can see in the picture on the left, you can either Practice or Test. The Practice mode was developed to use as a training area. It allows you to train your student/child's ability to scan from top to bottom and left to right for both speed and accuracy. When you are having students use the Practice mode, you are training them to scan either left to right across the page or from top to bottom. Tactus TherAppy also thought to include a yellow or red line that can be placed on the left or right side of the page to assist in drawing attention to that side. In the Practice mode you also have the option of choosing what level of exercise you would like the student to practice and if they should be scanning for one or two different types of targets. A sound is played if the student touches the targets out of order. In order to clear the level and move on, the student must find all of the targets on the page. Even in the Practice mode the students are working for time. The time begins to run when the first symbol is touched and continues until the final symbol has been found. At any time you are able to pause the clock by touching it and it will resume when touched a second time. Detailed results can be emailed at any time. An example of the results is located to the right of the next paragraph.


Data Available 
The Test mode was designed to evaluate the student's ability to scan left to right or top to bottom across a page for speed and accuracy. It's layout is very similar to the Practice mode. With the only real exception being the inability to place a colored line on the left or right side of the page to assist in maintaining visual attention. The evaluator determines what level the test will run and the number of targets the student will need to find. It is all timed and the detailed results can be emailed also.


Levels



Ten levels are present in the app and are arranged from easiest to hardest. Each of the levels contain either symbols or letters. It is recommended that symbols be used with nonreaders and letters with readers. Refer to the picture to

Visual Attention TherAppy allows you to customize the app for each individual user through the "Settings" feature. The things that you are able to customize are;

Most Lines and Smallest Spacing

  • Number of trials at each level
  • Number of lines of symbols and/or letters
  • Spacing
  • A turning on or off a child friendly feature (enables or disables links on the home page)

Fewest Lines and Largest Spacing
As an educational SLP, I decided to try the app out with some of my students. I need to begin with THEY LOVED IT. Each of the students were motivated to attempt to reduce the amount of time it took them to correctly locate all of the necessary letters and symbols. As the professional, it was necessary for me to make adjustments to Number of Lines and the Spacing in the "Settings" to ensure each child was working at their level.

Overall I think Visual Attention by Tactus Therapy Solutions is a good app that fills a hole in the app market. I see it as a great tool for iPads that are accessible by students with disabilities. Specifically students with learning disabilities and other health impairments such as attention deficit disorder.

It's a great addition to the Tactus TherAppy family and maintains or exceeds the high standards they have produced in the other apps. They have a lite version so no one has an excuse for not check it out for themselves.