Naming TherAppy – A Review

Naming TherAppy

by Tactus Therapy


“A word-finding app to help people with aphasia and children with special needs practice important naming and description skills.” I also find it useful for working with children and adults on expressive and receptive vocabulary, describing words, categorization, and other goals.

Price: $24.99, or try the Free, lite version of Language TherAppy which contains Naming TherAppy

Naming Therappy home page

The Workings: 

With over 500 nouns, 100+ Verbs, and 100+ Adjectives, there is little room for improvement or addition. However, with recent updates, Tactus Therapy has added the new feature to upload customized pictures for use within the app. *Jackpot* Users choose from 4 options as a way to interact with the vocabulary: Naming Practice, Describe, Naming Test, Flashcards.

Go ahead and bite the bullet. Throw away all those hand-made flashcards with common food items, clothing, places, sports, etc. Who needs it by paper when you have Tactus Therapy to do it for you. And, it offers multiple cues in flashcards and description.

One Way I Use the App: 

     I have used this app with both adults and children following an approach based on Semantic Feature Analysis. First, I gather a baseline within specific categories of items I plan to target. For instance, I select food, clothing, and occupations and show my client a set number of items, without prompts or cues. Before working with the app, I have a discussion regarding the “features” of an item used in word recall and word learning. For instance, Boyle & Coelho (1995) used  grouping/categorization, uses, actions, properties, location, and associations in as methodology to recall targeted pictures – aka Semantic Feature Analysis.

      For adults, this approach helps with rehabilitation of words lost due to stroke or brain injury; for children, this approach offers techniques to learn, or habilitate,  new words by associating the novel stimuli with previously learned information. The evidence based-design is glaring, in my opinion. Check out this side-by-side comparison of the Describe mode in Naming TherAppy and a chart from Boyle & Coelho (1995); when you tap the app buttons, it offers similar cues listed in the figure to the right –>

comparision of Naming to EBP

What I like:  

  • I can use this app for both expressive and receptive tasks, depending on the level my client.
  • Adding my own content for naming is helpful when I am reading a new book and want to target specific vocabulary associated with it. Take a pic on my iPad –> upload to Naming –> Flashcard away
  • Easy to select categories and start the app. There is not much set-up involved, even when selecting categories. All very quick.
  • Clear pictures, all photograph style, not line drawings.
  • The voice that narrates the app is male, and if he’s not married, he should give me a call. Very crisp, easy-to-understand 🙂
  • Tracks my data and will email it to me!!

Things I would like to see added/changed: 

  • While I like the Custom Categories now, I would love for them to add a “seasons/weather” category. It is difficult to find pictures and my southern accent just doesn’t do them justice. 
  • Adding the ability to change the “naming test”. As of now, the same 30 items appear. Being able to select which items would be nice to track weekly/monthly data for progress monitoring.
  • The ability to turn specific cues on/off in Naming Practice and Describe mode. For now, I use guided access, but would be nice to pick and choose what types of cues to offer.

Evidence on Semantic Feature Analysis to accompany Naming TherAppy:

  • Boyle, M. (2004) Semantic feature analysis treatment for anomia in two fluent aphasia syndromes. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13, 236-249.
  • Boyle, M. & Coelho, C. A. (1995). Application of semantic feature analsysis as a treatment for aphasic dysnomiaAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 4(4), 94-98. 
  • Cornelissen, K., Laine, M., Tarkiainen, A., Jarvensivu, T., Martin, N., & Salmelin, R. (2003). Adult brain plasticity elicited by anomia treatment. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 444–461.

  • Davis, L. A. & Stanton, S. T. (2005). Semantic feature analysis as a functional therapy tool. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 32, 85-92.

Tactus Therapy’s Naming TherAppy has been a welcome addition to my therapy. As a growing clinician, I need all the evidence-based tools at my finger tips. While I did receive a free copy of this app for review, I have told many classmates, supervisors, and fellow-tweeters of the app and it’s value and would praise the app in the same manner. $24.99 is a small price to pay for the quality and craftsmanship put into this app. 

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