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Speech with Milo: Interactive Storybook Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on August 10th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Speech with Milo: Interactive Storybook is a nice universal storybook from the "Speech with Milo" series of apps aimed at developing language skills in children - good resources for children who have special needs, learning English as a second language or for the very young who are new to expressing themselves.

This interactive storybook tells the tale of a day at the park for Milo and includes fun illustrations with lots of bright colors and sound effects. Included narration pleasantly explains what is happening on each page, aiding the development of storytelling for the reader, also immersing them in the correct use of grammar and complex sentences. I like that the reader must tap a button to listen to the narration, allowing the child to describe what they see before the narration is read if one wishes and readers can also make their own recording of this story, allowing the child to hear their own voice as well if they choose.

There is also cute moment included where Milo becomes emotional as well as lovely social interactions with his friends, which will go far in the teaching of socialization and empathy to children with special needs.

I am always impressed with the options that this series include, personalizing the experience for the needs of a specific child. This includes the ability to use the included interactions found on each page which children will have fun with, but also has the potential to distracting as well for some, especially since the narration stops if a hotspot is tapped. It is also nice that the display of text can also be removed, giving the chance to talk about these pages in a conversational, open-ended way as well.

Parents and caregivers of both special needs children as well as babies and toddlers will enjoy the Speech with Milo series of apps in general. They are nicely done and very educational.

Speech with Milo Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on January 25th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Speech with Milo is an interesting universal app designed to aid in the language development of children with special needs but can also be used with average children as well.

I really like Speak with Milo. I think that this is an ingenious way to teach verbs to children, be it an older child who has a language delays or a toddler learning new words. Milo is a cute mouse with a lot of energy who demonstrates more than one hundred verbs as he is tapped, and one can also hear these verbs being used in simple phrases as well. I also think it is interesting how when he is waiting to be tapped, Milo begins to look bored and checks his watch, a great pantomime of waiting and a very good prompt, especially for children new to learning language and possibly social skills as well. This application in general is much more engaging that traditional flash cards, and I like how Milo’s location changes as well, keeping kids interested. The interface is very easy to navigate, and it is nice that, although music accompanies Milo as he acts out these verbs, it can easily be turned off to lessen any distractions if necessary. It is also a nice touch that any or all of the over one hundred words can be turned off or on, so one can focus on words that carry emotions like “laugh” “kiss” or “smile,” or randomly if one so chooses. I would, however, like an option to
silence the “tada” sound Milo makes after he acts out each word.

I greatly appreciate the fact that there are guidelines for therapists as well as parents, and after reading how this app can be used to teach not just these specific action words but how to further the educational experience by teaching things like past tense or third person singular, I think this would be an excellent application to teach English as a second language to children as well. As an adult, I enjoy seeing Milo acting out these words in a way that is always fun and creative - many times with props. I would have used this app with my son when he was younger and first learning words. I am sure we both would have enjoyed it, as my son at three still enjoys tapping and watching Milo now.