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All The Things We Love About Speech Therapy With Adults

This blog is about all the things we at Sanapsis Love about Speech Therapy with Adults. 

Update 3.1: Sanapsis and Sanapsis Suomi

Nana Lehtinen

Hello all you lovely people!

We have been improving Sanapsis and Sanapsis Suomi side by side this summer and release 3.1 for both apps is here. For this one our focus has been on Production category, but as minds tend to wander you might find some additions scattered across other categories as well. I will give a quick overview of the heftier additions here and hope you enjoy exploring more in the app on your own.

First up, our Naming exercises. We get a lot of very nice feedback of our photos, so we decided to add some more. Altogether 227 images have been added to Naming (nouns) and Naming (actions) and I want to. As always the images that pop up on your screen here are randomized to keep things interesting. This means that the new images will be mixed in with the familiar ones and you will see them popping up as you go. Hope you like them!

Naming, nouns

Naming, nouns

Naming. actions

Naming. actions

When using Organize a sentence you will come across new items as well. We added 100 new sentences! Evenly distributed across levels so remember to hit that info button and adjust levels.

Järjestä lause

Järjestä lause

Organize a sentence

Organize a sentence

Precise sentences gained 91 new tasks and its counterpart Descriptive sentences gained 70. Enjoy both!

Precise sentences

Precise sentences

Descriptive sentences

Descriptive sentences

As always, we appreciate feedback, suggestions for improvement and of course just hearing about you and how you are doing with Sanapsis. Let us know at sanapsis (a)!

More to like in Sanapsis Svenska!

Nana Lehtinen

We just launched our first official update to our Sanapsis Svenska (1.3), yay! To celebrate, this post will mostly be about the newly localized exercises for Swedish. So, if you are using the English or Finnish version of Sanapsis, mostly old news. But not to despair - we think one can always use a refresher. Maybe you have not been taking these exercises for a spin with your patients lately and could use some motivation to make more use of the stuff you already own. Let’s find out!

The update comes with three new exercises to our Swedish version of Sanapsis: Discussion starters, Build a question and Sentence and picture. Old favorites with many possibilities!

Let’s first have a look at Sentence and Picture / Lause ja kuva / Mening och bild. You see this one in our Reading- section, right up there in the right hand corner of the menu.

Reading menu

Reading menu

Sentence and Picture / Lause ja kuva / Mening och bild - exercise comes with two levels. Level one shows an image and two, three or four sentences, depending on the settings. Ask your patient to choose the one that matches the image. On level 1 the sentences are rather simple and very different from each other. On level 2 the setup is the same but sentences are more abstract or semantically closer. As the patient chooses a sentence the text changes color but no feedback is given by the app. It’s up to you to decide how to make the most of the material in your session.

Level 1, two options

Level 1, two options

Level 2, four options

Level 2, four options

Some of our exercises are provided to you in multiple categories. Mostly for easy access but also because we do not want you to get stuck with just one way to use the materials you have at your disposal. Creativity and flexibility, that’s what it takes to become a fluent Sanapsis user! One of these exercises is Build a question / Valitse kysymyssana / Välj frågeordet and you can find it in categories Production and Reading.

Production menu

Production menu

Reading menu

Reading menu

Build a question looks very similar to the Sentence and Picture we just introduced. So, if you know your way around that, this one is an easy step. Here you see an image, a sentence that lacks a question word and two, three or four question words. You know it by now, right? Yes! You ask your patient to choose a question word that completes the sentence. Under the info button you see in the lower right hand corner you can always find all the settings and more info on how and when to use this exercise. Nice.

Build a question, two options

Build a question, two options

Build a question, four options

Build a question, four options

For the next one we are going to looking at categories Semantics and Reading.

Semantics menu

Semantics menu

Reading menu

In both of these categories you will find a new exercise: Discussion starters / Keskustelunkäynnistäjät / Diskussioninledningar. This is a simple but powerful exercise. It comes with two levels (settings under the info button, as usual). Level 1 has straightforward questions you can mostly answer with one or two words. I love using this when introducing using AAC-methods, great for writing down some options for the patient to point at or even make use of pictures and drawings! Level 2 comes with more complex questions that invite the patient to tell more. If you hand the iPad over to your patient and let them choose the topic to discuss with you, you create a perfect place to work on making initiatives and asking for more info.

Level 1

Level 1

Level 2

Level 2


That it our update for Sanapsis Svenska 1.3. If you haven’t yet, you can download it for your iPad from the Appstore. Buy once, get all future updates for free (no in-app purchases, ever)!

Play around, invite your patients to play around and most importantly - let us know what you think! We love hearing what works, what could use improvement, where we have missed a typo or what you would like to see added. You can always contact us via this website or send an email to (in English, Finnish or Swedish). Looking forward to hearing from you!

New icons

Nana Lehtinen

Now that we have three language versions of Sanapsis, we thought it would be fun to have three different icons to display at AppStore and on your iPad. We are still in love with our color-scheme (orange, gray and white) and decided to keep things in line with that. As we also want to avoid getting mixed up with language learning apps *think flags for languages* so sticking to our trio was the obvious solution. All our apps are a collaboration of our trilingual team. However, we do play favorites..



Meet Sanapsis, our original English version. You could think of it as our firstborn (twin A) if you were so inclined. This one has seen a lot of testing under different circumstances and has held up rather nicely! Plays well with others and is currently under supervision of main designer, SLP Nana.

Sanapsis Suomi

Sanapsis Suomi

This is our twin B, Sanapsis Suomi (Finnish). This one is the one we have most direct patient feedback on and we are oh, so grateful to everybody who has been a part of bringing it to life. At the moment this one is being polished and made better mostly by our fantastic SLP Elina.

Sanapsis Svenska

Sanapsis Svenska

Our baby! Sanapsis Svenska (Swedish) is our latest localization and we are so exited to see it getting better with each update. First release gave you the basics and new releases will always free, as with all versions. Our Swedish version has been brought to life mostly by our talented SLP Annemari with the help of many speech language pathology students at Åbo Akademi in Turku, Finland.

Our team of SLPs (Nana, Annemari and Elina) showing off their favorites at NAC2019 (June 2019).

Our team of SLPs (Nana, Annemari and Elina) showing off their favorites at NAC2019 (June 2019).


Nana Lehtinen

We are very, very pleased to welcome a new version of Sanapsis, Sanapsis Svenska! This means we are now officially a family of three languages, English, Finnish and Swedish.

Our Swedish version will be rolled out gradually. The first version includes 15 exercises and it is currently available in the AppStore. We chose these exercises to give you a broad first impression on what Sanapsis can do for you in planning and executing therapy sessions. There is so much more behind the scenes, we are having a hard time holding back! But let’s take a quick first look on what we have available now in our six categories.

Main menu

Main menu

Speech Production - Talproduktion

We kicked things off with our all time favorite exercises: Naming, nouns - Benämning, substantiv (514 images) and Naming, actions - Banämning - verb (300 images). These exercises provide a broad look into the images used in Sanapsis and also give you a few ideas on how to use these images in a versatile way in therapy. Precise sentence - Bilda en exakt mening also makes use of the images in Sanapsis, this time prompting your patient to produce precise and informative sentences. With examples, of course! Retell a story - Återge berättelsen introduces you to some text material we have created just for therapy.

Comprehension - Förståelse

The comprehension category includes one of my personal favorites. The simple Yes / No - Ja / Nej -exercise. Such an elegant task of listening and answering simple and complex Yes / No questions. Our instructions give examples on how and why to use this task and of course the material of 88 questions is there for you to use as well.

Questions based on text - Frågor om texten provides a little more challenge on listening, attention and deduction skills with more complex material. Please note that there are two levels for this task, Questions and Yes / No arguments.

Reading - Läsning

For the reading category we wanted to start by providing three exercises with different levels of difficulty. Word and picture - Ord och bild is a task of matching a written word to the correct image. Familiar, right? Connect sentences - Sätt ihop meningen provides sentences cut in half for your patient to connect on three different difficulty levels. Again, instructions give you ideas on how and why to use this exercise as well as background on why we think there are many important skills at play when working on these tasks. Read a story - Läs berättelsen is a more challenging task for those patients who read at paragraph level but sometimes struggle with extracting the important information on what they read.

Writing - Skrivning

For writing we included two exercises in our first version: Copy letters by hand - Kopiera bokstäverna för hand and Copy words by hand - Kopiera order för hand. These were included for our patients with more severe challenges. They make the most of iPads touch screen and are designed as a canvas for practicing writing skills maybe with your less dominant hand. Take a look, they are actually very fun to work with!

Semantics - Semantik

For the semantic category we decided to include exercises Is the simile true? - Är jämförelsen sann? and the classic, What does not belong? - Vad hör inte hemma i gruppen? Is the simile true makes use of different similes and asks your patient to use their logic reasoning and interpret figurative language in judging could the given simile be true. Again, more detailed explanations and examples in instruction in the app! What does not belong is most likely a familiar task for every SLP. Our version comes with only words, not images and provides three different difficulty levels. Some of these really challenge you and also make good tasks for reasoning and expressing your opinions. There is usually so much more potential in simple exercises than just completing a task, don’t you think?

Perseveration - Perseveration

Perseveration category introduces two serial naming tasks, Repetitive naming, numbers - Seriell benämning, siffror and Repetitive naming, letters - Seriell benämning, bokstäver. Included are prompts on screen with customizable settings and, you know it by now, instructions and ideas on why and how to make use of these exercises. So many ways to use these prompts, really hope you take time to peek into the instructions and get started with patients whose communication efficacy is lower because of a tendency to persevere.

So, the first version of Sanapsis Svenska is officially out in the world. As with all the versions, our updates and additions (yes, many many more exercises on their way) will always be free. No in-app purchases, no hassle. Please let us know what you think and send us your ideas on improvement and expansions. Looking forward to working together with a new group of friends from Sweden. Vi hörs!

Heja Sverige!

Heja Sverige!

It is time.

Nana Lehtinen

We are proud to release our latest update! 

You can now download the latest version of Sanapsis from AppStore update (Finnish, version 2.4 and English, version 2.7) with new material in many of the familiar exercises (we think of them as Oldies but Goodies) and also brand new exercises. As always, all new material is free - no In-App purchases, ever!

This time, most of the new things will be in our Reading-category with some extra sweet treats around the app. Below you will find a list of the things we hope will assist you in planning your therapy sessions this fall and beyond.

Oldies but goodies, improvements:

Word and Picture now has 260 tasks 

Sentence and Picture has 40 new tasks, making it a total of 104

Organize  a story / Järjestä tarina has changed its name to Organize instructions / Järjestä toimintaohje to better reflect the nature of the task. It also gained 7 new tasks!

Read a story got a few more stories (4 to be exact) making it 20 in total

In addition to these we have something brand new to show you: 3 brand new exercises.

What does not belong (total of 64 tasks in exercise)

Sound familiar? Yes, I am sure all of you have used this exercise many times before. In What does not belong you see a selection of words on screen. Ask your patient to look for the one that does not belong to the group. This new exercise has three different levels. Level 1 has four nouns and one of these does not belong in the same category as others. Level 2 adds two words the selection. On level 3 things get a little bit more interesting. Here you may find a noun mixed in with verbs or a selection where one of the words that has no connection to a library (an example of level 3 in the picture). Tasks on level 3 can be a challenge and thus provide material for our higher performing patients. As usual, the info text in the app provides you with ideas on how to use this exercise in many ways with different patients in therapy. 

What does not belong? Level 3. One answer could be: The word THINK does not belong as it is not directly associated with music. Can you think of other solutions?

What does not belong? Level 3. One answer could be: The word THINK does not belong as it is not directly associated with music. Can you think of other solutions?

Connect sentences (with 90 tasks in total)

This new exercise is a meaningful reading task at sentence level. On screen you see sentences cut in half. Ask your patient to read the parts of sentences on screen and arrange them to make coherent sentences. On level 1 you find two complete sentences mixed up, on level 2 three. Level 3 provides more challenge with four sentences. Working on multiple sentences at the same time makes your patient challenge their working memory, attentional control, cognitive inhibition, and cognitive flexibility - all the executive functions we need to be able to communicate effectively using any domains of language. And all this while exercising those reading skills!

Connect sentences. Level 1.   Solution: Worlds oceans are still vastly unexplored.  An aeroplane flies at incredible speed. 

Connect sentences. Level 1. 

Solution: Worlds oceans are still vastly unexplored.  An aeroplane flies at incredible speed. 

Fill in letters by hand (with 224 different words)

Remember the exercise Copy words by hand? The one where you can use a finger or a stylus pen to copy words they see on screen? Well, it now has a sibling! In the new exercise Fill in letters by hand the words have lost some of their letters.. But not to worry, just ask your patient to fill in the missing letters while writing the word. Some words are easy, some are more difficult (multiple let_e_s missing). You can take advantage of this by experimenting with different channels for clues (auditory and visual) and help your patient to find the ones that are most helpful to them. You can also choose a category for the words. By choosing a category you have some context for word-finding (priming). If you leave the selection blank you will be given a random word and the difficulty for the task increases.

Fill in letters by hand. You can guess this one, right?

Fill in letters by hand. You can guess this one, right?

And a special treat for our Finnish users only, just because the language is awesome:

Järjestä tavut (180 tehtävää)

Eräs ehdottomista lempimateriaaleistani terapiassa on tavukortit. Tyypillisesti luomme näitä lennossa kynää ja paperia käyttäen, hetkessä asiakkaan tarpeita vastaamaan. Nyt päätimme vihdoin tuoda tavut Sanapsikseen, toivottavasti olemme osanneet valita mukaan sanat  ja sanaparit joista on iloa käyttäjille (ja paperikori ei jatkossa pursua pieniä lappuja enää ihan samalla tavalla kuin aiemmin..)!

Tehtäväinstruktio sovelluksessa kuuluu seuraavasti: 

Ruudulla näet vaihtelevan määrän tavuja. Yhdistettynä tavut muodostavat sanoja, joita kuntoutuja voi rakentaa tavuja liikuttelemalla. Tasolla 1 ruudulla on yksi kaksi- tai kolmitavuinen sana, esim. SA-NA tai SA-RA-NA. Tasolla 2 ruudulta löytyy 1 nelitavuinen yhdyssana, esim. VE-SI-SA-DE, josta voi muodostaa yhden tai kaksi sanaa. Tasolla 3 tavut muodostavat kaksi 2-3 tavuista sanaa esim. KO-RI ja MU-KA-VA. Tavujen määrän lisääntyessä ja rakenteen muuttuessa tehtävä vaikeutuu niin visuaalisesti kuin kognitiivisestikin. Sopivien sanojen rakentaminen tapahtuu kuntoutujan ja terapeutin yhteistyönä. Sanapsis ei anna palautetetta suorituksesta, sillä kaikki suomenkieliset sanat (joiden merkityksen kuntoutuja osaa kuvata) tietenkin kelpaavat! 

Tavutehtävää voit hyödyntää perustehtävänä sanatason merkitykselliseen lukemiseen, jossa kuntoutujan tulee itse määritellä milloin tavuyhdistelmä muodostaa merkityksellisen sanan. Halutessasi voit myös itse terapeuttina järjestää osan tavuista sanoiksi, osan epäsanoiksi ja pyytää kuntoutujaa arvioimaan mikä sanoista on oikein ja mikä väärin. Tässä versiossa harjoitat sekä lukemista, semanttista päättelyä että kriittistä työskentelyotetta. Puhumattakaan yhteistyöstä ja erilaisista kommunikointirooleista roolien vaihtuessa! Yksinkertaisia tavurakenteita voit hyödyntää myös dysartria- tai apraksiaharjoitteissa, joko toisto tai ääneenlukuharjoitteina. Usein on myös tarkoituksenmukaista yhdistää monia tavoitteita yhdellä materiaalilla toteutettuun tehtävään, ja tavusarjoillahan puheterapeutit keksivät vaikka mitä! 

MItä tapoja ja ideoita sinulla on tavukorttien hyödyntämiseen? 

Järjestä tavut, taso 2.   Ratkaisu voi olla KALAKEITTO tai KALA ja KEITTO

Järjestä tavut, taso 2. 

Ratkaisu voi olla KALAKEITTO tai KALA ja KEITTO

So, there you go. Now, off to work on the next one! Hope it won't be long till I see you again with a new update. In the meanwhile, please let us know how we are doing. We love to hear from our users! 


Nana Lehtinen

As I scroll down on my own posts I see that I have totally... I guess you can call it "Dropping the ball".. I was meaning to write a post about all of our categories but fell one short! Where is the sixth post about Perseveration?! Hmm.

It is sad to realize you didn't meet your goal. However, in this case I don't feel too bad. You see, writing about different categories kind of launched us on a journey (a long one, I admit). As I write this our latest update is in it's final internal review stages for both language versions for Sanapsis, Finnish and English. In addition to these two, some surprises are cooking too, but more about those later.  Maybe one of those surprises will be me surprising myself by finally writing up that last category, only time will tell..

See you soon as we release our latest stuff in Sanapsis!

As wise as an owl? As dangerous as a plate?

Nana Lehtinen

If you are a speech therapist and work with adults with acquired brain injury you are no stranger to difficulties in interpreting and processing figurative and more abstract language. Chances are you have used a metaphor or two with your patients too! I know I have worked my way trough a lot of worksheets of similes and metaphors with my patients, sometimes truthfully wondering why is this important? What is the gain from this exercise, how will this help my patient to navigate his daily life?

After a lot of time observing and working with patients and comparing notes with colleagues we were able to draw lines from working with similes to actually being more competent in communicating in everyday surroundings. And so much so that we decided to include some exercises with similes in Sanapsis! In our Semantics category you can find two exercises that make use of similes.  Neither of them is the  "Tell me what this simile means"-type of exercise per se, but there is no stopping you from using the material provided for that too. 

Semantics category in Sanapsis

Our Is this simile true -exercise challenges the patient to judge if the simile is true or false. Fairly straightforward, right? However,  under the surface patients are

  1. working on understanding intentions behind the words
  2. doing feature analysis on everyday nouns
  3. working on judging the meaning of what they just heard
  4. communicating their opinion by making choices.

Is this simile true?

In addition to this, I like to take things a step forward and ask the patient to provide a suitable adjective or noun to transform the false similes into something that makes sense (like e.g. as loud as a vacuum cleaner), when applicable. And that, of course takes the exercise to a whole different level.

That new level can be explored further in our Complete the simile -exercise where the patient gets to fill in similes. Sanapsis provides the simile with a blank for the adjective and the patient gets to find a suitable word to match the noun provided. In the small black boxes you can find examples of suitable similes, but only the sky and verbal reasoning skills are the limit on what is accepted here! Yes, you guessed it right — in addition to working on generalizations and figurative language skills I always make my patients tell me exactly why they think their answer is a suitable one. 

Fill in the simile

We chose to use similes for our exercises because they are rather simple and straightforward figures of speech. In addition to these exercises there are many things you can do to expand your repertoire in working with figurative language. With higher level patients one of my favorites is to take a passage from a book or a poem and ask the patient to locate and explain the figures of speech in that piece of text. And if you listen and look closely you will find that similes and metaphors are hiding all around us! Just think of that athlete who "flew like an arrow" in that competition or that sad girl "whose face was like stone" or even the cute little puppy who was "as sweet as a sugar plum". 

In addition to the skills used in these tasks I like working with similes because they provide a good starting point to discussions about the abstract level of language. We often see patients who face the feeling of poor communication skills due to not being able to interpret and use figurative speech in their everyday communication, despite their fluent surface level communication skills. And this is where we can step in and start working on those skills in order to help the patients to understand their difficulties and overcome them in everyday situations. 

As for now, it is your turn. I have hidden four everyday figures of speech in this post (not counting the ones used as examples) and I challenge you to locate them! Happy hunting!

Would you mind repeating that?

Nana Lehtinen

Comprehension tasks in speech therapy with adults not the easiest nut to crack. Patients we work with on comprehension have, well, difficulties in understanding language so it can be a challenge to find common ground as to what we are trying to achieve with a given task. Some patients might not be very aware of their symptoms and think they are doing well in their everyday life, when in reality there are lots of difficulties or just drawing away from social situations where difficulties manifest themselves. There might be denial, frustration and all sorts of things going on around these problems.

Overall, comprehension can be a touchy subject. In therapy, I have found it easier to work on comprehension tasks together with the patient instead of making them work on tasks and me being the one who has the right answer. And of course - we incorporated some of this into Sanapsis!  

Here you can see our Menu for Comprehension tasks in Sanapsis. Lets take a minute to explore a few of our tasks.


Follow instructions opens with basic settings: view of two images and a sentence on screen. You are to place the iPad on the table between you and your patient. Now you read the sentence to your patient and they arrange the images following directions you read out loud. 

Our example shows you a task where your patient sees an image of the Colosseum and an image of a stack of hay. The (upside down) sentence reads: Move the hay under the Colosseum.

What I like to do in this task is to have a piece of paper handy and as we work trough the tasks with my patient I complete the task by drawing the images on a piece of paper as the patient is working on the same task on screen. Like you see in the picture here, just a quick drawing will do. After we complete a few tasks, we come back and compare notes. And correct each others work (yes, I make mistakes. Sometimes even intentionally).

I like this way of working because it enables us to work side by side with the patient and give feedback to each other — adding an extra layer to the task.

If you like a challenge, settings in this task allows you to add a third image and longer instructions on screen. You can also choose to use the task as a reading task where your patient sees the text alongside the images.


I also want to point out some cool stuff hiding in a task called Questions based on text. 

Questions based on text opens to a screen with a piece of text, as you can see in the examples below. You read the text to your patient, asking them to listen carefully as you will be asking questions. After reading the text, you tap the screen and questions based on that text appear. To mark an answer you tap it and it changes color. Swipe back-forward to find new material and return to completed tasks. Pretty straightforward? Yes, I trust you all know what to do here and when this kind of task is appropriate to use.

If you want variation for the task, go to settings (tap the info-button on the right hand corner) and choose Yes/No instead of Questions. 

When you return to the task you see a piece of text that you read to your patient. Tapping the screen provides material based on that text. But instead of questions, now you get to ask your patient to determinate if you are right or wrong. Again asking him/her to state an opinion and justifying it based on what they just heard. Very much like YES/NO questions but based on the text they just heard. Great stuff, right?

As you already know, Sanapsis does not give feedback. But why? We feel that when assessing and addressing real life skills we need to guide our patients to monitor themselves, recognize when they feel insecure about understanding what their communication partner is saying and help them find strategies in asking for clarification. Because real life situation do not beep when we get it wrong.

(However, sometimes there is a genuine need for feedback from the application, a more mechanical approach. Luckily we are not alone and there are many applications that are very useful for this. Just check out this amazing list by Tactus Therapy!)

Holiday reading with some gems from reading category

Nana Lehtinen

My absolute favorite holiday activity is reading. A nice cup of tea, holiday lights, warm socks knitted by grandma, you know the works. As the holiday season is upon us, I would like to share some gems from our Reading category with you today!

A quick glance of the reading menu will tell you that our tasks range from word level to story level, adding a few very functional tasks in the mix on the way.


Word and picture - correct

Let's get started with Word and picture. Here you see 2-4 pictures on screen along with one word. Ask your patient to read the word and tap the corresponding picture. Tapping a picture highlights it with an orange rim. But wait, what? No matter which picture you tap, right or wrong, you always get the same rim around it?

Word and picture - incorrect

Yes, that is one of the gems throughout Sanapsis! The app does not give feedback, just like a book does not give you feedback on how well you are doing on your reading. You as the reader are in charge of judging whether you understood what you red. Right?

I like to have my patients working independently on many tasks and Word and picture is no exeption. As Sanapsis does not give feedback, my patients are thinking, making decisions and assessing their work as they go. When they are done, two of us go through the finished work together and my patient tells me how well they think they did. I always urge my patients to point out the tasks they are not quite sure of. If they like, I can then name the pictures on screen for them and they correct themselves as we go. Much more than just word level-reading, right?

The same applies for Sentence and picture.

Sentence and picture, 2 sentences, level 1

Here you get one picture and 2-4 sentences and the patient taps on the one they think matches the picture and it is highlighted. 

Level 1 for this task gives you to simple, straightforward sentences that are easy to tell apart.



Sentence and picture. 4 sentences, level 2.

For level 2, there is a nice twist. Sentences are more similar to each other, talk about the same items and give subtle differences in meaning. These sentences require deeper reading skills and the number of sentences can always be added in settings. Great for advancing in steps!



Organize a story, level 1

Organize a sentence and Organize a story both provide excellent material for working on sequential processing and understanding meaningful entities.

Here you see two examples from Organize a story. The first one shows you a task from level 1 and it has 4 actions that need to be organized to form a meaningful entity. In this case instructions for cleaning the house (for the holidays, of course).

Organize a story, level 3

There are 3 levels to this task. You guessed it right, the higher the level the longer the story. On level to 3 you see a complex story, in this case 7 steps on going to the library.





For the last exercise today, I think I will choose Discussion starters. At first, it does not look like a traditional reading task, but let me assure you — it provides functional reading at its best!

Discussion starters, level 1

Here you ask the your patient to read a question and start a discussion with you on that topic. As usual, there is interesting stuff hiding in different levels!

On level 1 this task has questions and topics that can be answered using different AAC-methods like drawing, maps, personal booklets and devices. 

Discussion starters, level 3


Level 2 has more abstract and complex topics and is at its best with our higher functioning patients. With this task I often ask my patient to scroll through the questions (reading them all!) and choosing 1-2 topics they would like to discuss with me.  

I also ask my patients why they chose that particular question and with whom they could use this question in their everyday life as these discussions are always fun! It makes the patient explain the process, point out if there was something they did not understand and reason their choices. All good stuff for our patients.

So there you go, some ideas on how to make use of our Reading category. Now I believe it is time for me to put on those comfy socks and grab a book and enjoy some quiet time. 

Nana, happy as a clam

Nana, happy as a clam

Happy holidays everyone, be sure to make the most out of this festive, magical time of the year! Thank you and see you in 2016!

How to make most out of Writing-category in Sanapsis

Nana Lehtinen

If I  would have to name a personal favorite category from Sanapsis, I think it would be Writing (or wait, maybe Comprehension. Hmm. Well for this post, I'm going to go with Writing, so there you go).

I truly get a kick of the way the category seems just a straightforward Copy letter > Copy word > Write a word in context > Write a sentence > Write a synopsis -approach to writing. But when you look closely, you see a world of possibilities.

Our Writing menu

Our Writing menu

Let’s get started with Copy Letters. First of all this is an awesome task to get going on writing with the non-dominant hand (like many of our right-handed patients need to after a stroke).

On screen, you see a letter on the left. On the right you see the same letter faded. Now, ask your patient to and draw the faded letter with their finger. When they get comfortable, add a stylus pen and voilá - sooner than you know you have them rocking the whole paper/pen thing (this on one of my patients rocking the K)!

But why is he writing in blue? Since we are also working on expressing opinions by choosing things, we started by him expressing the color he would like to write with and me adjusting the settings for him. And today, he felt like he wanted to use blue for this writing task.

Settings on Copy a letter by hand

There is a number of things in the settings. The colors are there mostly for patients who have visual constrains and need stronger feedback from their writing. But why not use them for adding to the task, just like us SLP:s know how to!

You can also choose the level of cueing and some other cool stuff, just tap the info-button to find out more!

Copy words using the keyboard

Moving on to working with the keyboard. In Copy words using the keyboard you: a) see a word, b) copy it using a keyboard.

And, as usual, there is more than meets the eye. In settings you can choose a category for the words. The words match exercises Naming nouns in Production and Word and picture in Reading. With these exercises you have the same vocabulary at your fingertips for naming, reading and writing! Awesome, right? And as you can see in this example, the vocabulary has everything we need, as recent research findings suggest.

Then it is time for my all time favorite in this category, Fill in the blank. Againpretty straightforward. You see sentence with a blank space, you ask your patient to fill that in. Now, please, please remember to take full advantage of the levels with this one!

Fill in the blank, level 1

Level 1 gives you a sentence with a noun missing. The sentence provides the context, thus a semantic clue for the word.

In this example the word would be: vacuum cleaner.


Fill in the blank, level 2

Level 2 challenges your patients to describe things, as the missing word is an adjective. Perfect for those patients who need lots of time for processing (they tend not to use too many adjectives in their output), and for patients who are generally were scarce in their output. This can also be very challenging for many higher level TBI patients, be sure to give it a try! 

Fill in the blank, level 3

And finally, level 3. This is where things get interesting with many patients I have worked with. The sentences on this level have vary little information, they function more as constraints than clues for the patient. Here the patient is challenged to create the meaningful context within the frame of the task. And let me tell you - we have had some fun with this one! Also, a great discussion starter on why it can be a difficult task to complete. 

Fill in the blank, level 3

I also encourage you to break away from the iPad with the tasks on Level 3. Give your patient paper and pen and ask them to fill in a couple of sentences on paper, just to write the whole sentence down. Then, have them expand one of the sentences to a little story (they already thought of an idea for the sentence, so why not take it a few steps further).

An example of this could be: Sentence: They did not have the song.  

Story: Alice and his boyfriend loved to sing karaoke. Alice wanted to surprise her boyfriend and had been rehearsing his favorite song, "Yellow submarine", for a week. On Friday night at the karaoke bar Alice got up to perform, but they did not have the song!

Fun? Yes! Even more if you take turns in coming up with the stories, so you get to give examples and ideas within a task!

I still wanted to talk to you about Synopsis and how it has cool levels too and how you can change the background color from black to white to suit your patients needs. But I guess I have to leave something for you to discover on your own too!

So, I will leave you today with a picture of one of my patients rocking the word flowers in Finnish in Copy a word by hand.

Have fun and keep exploring! 

P.S. We are celebrating ASHA15 with a huge discount! You can have these exercises and way more on your iPad for $49,99!