Reviewed by Grace
Before my youngest came along, I never knew that some children would need to be taught explicitly how to answer simple questions like ‘What is your name?’ I never imagined that I would need to drill my child (who has speech and language delays) with scripted answers to simple questions. But beyond prepping him up for the usual questions from relatives and friends, I didn’t know what other types of questions to practise with him.
For a clueless parent like me, an app such as WhQuestions from Smarty Ears is an absolute life-saver. It is designed to help children acquire the important social skill of answering Wh Questions – What, Who, Where, When, Why and How. It is easy to use and has a video tutorial for beginners. It features over 200 questions in both audio and written forms, performance tracking and reporting, multiple or single players and turn-taking capability where each player can answer up to 4 questions at each turn.
What is superior about this app is the audio recording and playback feature where users can record their responses to questions and play them back. With this, I can simulate a social exchange by repeating the question followed immediately by the recorded answer when we are done discussing and practising how to answer the question.
Adding to the quality of this app is the variety of questions available for my use. They range from simple questions like ‘What do you like to eat?’ to more complicated ones like ‘How do you make a cake?’ To skip those that are too advanced for my son, I simply clicked them as correctly answered. It would be ideal if I can select the questions that I want to work on or at least have a skip button that I can use. As a start, I want to be able to focus on questions that are personal to him or easy for him to understand. Later on, I can select questions according to themes like school and occupations. I also wish that I can see the total number of questions attempted in the results and the list of questions that he had responded wrongly so that I can focus my next session on these.
Having said that, I often remind myself that it is not important whether the responses my son gave are accurate or not. The goal is for him to understand what kind of information is asked and answer appropriately – a ‘Why’ gets a ‘because’/reason, a ‘Where’ gets a location, etc. But often, my son has no idea what response to give when asked a new question so I am glad to see that the pictures of some questions show a few suggested answers. With these clues, he just needs to focus on how to answer the question without having to worry about accuracy.
This app has been a great help and its large number of varied questions ensures that it will have a long term use in our home. If you find yourself stuck with the same few questions to work with and you are strapped for time to make or find new materials for home practice, this app is for you. Used by SLPs themselves, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Please use the App Store link provided below if you decide to get this app. The cost is the same but a small portion of your purchase helps to support the iMums. Thank you!
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
$ 9.99 $ 6.99 (30% Off for Better Speech and Hearing Month) (54.6 MB)
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