A little mouse named Milo is the main character in a series of therapy apps called Speech with Milo, which was developed by Doonan Speech Therapy for all IOS devices. For this app, Milo is the engineer of the Feelings Train. Each child gets his or her own train; with the help of an adult, the child can choose an emotion that represents how he is feeling at that moment, and drag the picture down to the train car.
Have a look:
The child hears the word as it is added, and a box pops up that allows him to dictate a sentence telling why he chose that feeling. The notation could be as simple as this: “Frustrated- I feel frustrated when my math problem is wrong.” or “Calm- I was calm when I waited patiently in line.” Older students are encouraged to write their own sentences, because the word processor has a helpful word prediction feature. On the Feelings Train, feelings are easy to add and or delete. Since each entry has a date attached, it becomes easy to track the occurrence of particular emotions for each child, and to see patterns as they develop.
The basic version of Feelings with Milo is free to download with a limited number of feelings (sad, happy, disgusted, and tired); additional feelings are available through an in-app purchase (IAP), and include mad, shy, silly, surprised, frustrated, excited, confused, calm, anxious, and afraid. This list includes most of the basic feelings that children experience.
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Putting a feeling on the Feelings Train allows the child to practice talking about that particular emotion, and it also starts making the connection between the event and the feeling it elicits. We all know what it’s like to have a child completely at a loss for words when asked to explain his emotions. Feelings with Milo makes the discussion a little bit less threatening for a child.
I think it’s safe to call the Speech with Milo series an institution in the speech therapy community. We have come to know and respect the apps that come from Doonan Speech Therapy. Poorani Doonan has an intuitive knack for making learning about language, articulation, and feelings fun for children. All of her apps are simple to use and simple for kids to understand. If I could suggest two feelings that I would like to see added to Feelings with Milo, they would be jealous and disappointed, but overall, this app is another great example of how tablet technology is improving the way we teach children with special needs in the 21st century.
Feelings with Milo is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store - iOS Universal
RRP - Free Download - Option to unlock all levels via IAP - $1.99/#1.49/€1.79
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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