Sunday, July 27, 2014

iOS App: ICOON Global Picture Dictionary

ICOON App on iTunes ($0.99, sometimes Free)

What it is: Aimed at travelers ICOON provides a pictorial phrase book for the purpose of cross-language communication. It is simple to use and includes 12 categories that range from the basic/every-day (Hygiene, Health, Clothing, Food) to the travel-related (Measurements, World and Accommodation).

Screen Shot 1 shows a view of the categories, which is on the first screen of this app. Screen Shot 2 shows the view from inside a category ("Hygiene"), and Screen Shot 3 a specific item (toothbrush and toothpaste from the "Hygiene" category).
Screen Shot 1

How we can use it in Tx: When it comes to language goals,
pictures are always useful. Pictures divided into relevant categories are even more useful as one can make decisions about complexity level of vocabulary tasks based on context.

For word-finding goals, vocabulary that is relevant to the immediate environment of your client or is basic for their ADLs (e.g., food, hygiene, clothing) would be easiest. Emotions and Leisure a little more difficult, and Travel and World categories likely most

Language goals can be addressed in a variety of ways including confrontational naming, categorizing (top-down starting with the category and thinking of items then going over them, or bottom-up starting with items and determining categories). Pictures can replace word lists for motor speech and intelligibility practice. The picture lists easily lend themselves to various Q/A tasks, from simplest y/n to more open ended.

Screen Shot 2
The app could also be used to assess appropriateness of AAC using pictures. Does your client recognize the pictures? Are they able to read the category names? Their AAC needs are not likely to be fully met with this app (unless there is no symbolic dysfunction, and your client is only limited d/t voice issues) but you will be able to assess needs and abilities to determine what AAC app WOULD work if any.

Goals we can target in Tx with this app: Language goals
including word-finding, categorizing, question/answer and descriptions, speech goals that address dysarthria, apraxia and anything that affects intelligibility, and AAC (specifically to help assess needs and appropriateness).

Some specific examples:

Screen Shot 3
1. I recently had a client who has an existing Dx of severe expressive aphasia as well as a Dx for severe dementia. I have been working with her on pictures, and she is now able to generate around 30% (on a good day) of simple vocab from pictures. I show her a picture and ask what it is. I try to keep the pictures for each session from within the same category to help with context. If she is not able to generate the word, I give her a choice ("is this a toothbrush or a comb?"). She is able to reply with >90% accuracy. When we started she had <50% acc just repeating words. Her ability to express her needs has increased, and I have been able to educate staff re strategies to communicate with her (to ask her y/n questions as she demonstrates fairly high accuracy answering these).

2. S/P stroke client with expression limited to yes and no and conflicting reports of accuracy re same. These every day vocab pictures were useful in determining the severity of his symbolic dysfunction and helped determine that he is appropriate for an AAC device, and is able to navigate across categories to find his needs.

3. Used this app for a short task in a session with a high functioning language client presenting with mild word-finding issues at conversation level. This app was used to provide stim to jump-start conversations on a variety of topics.