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IES Contract

Title: App for Speech Development for Students with ASD
Center: NCSER Year: 2012
Principal Investigator: Tedesco, Robert Awardee: HandHold Adaptive, LLC
Program: Small Business Innovation Research in Special Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 6 months Award Amount: $150,000
Type: Phase I Development Award Number: EDIES12C0043

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are severe neurodevelopmental disabilities characterized by deficits in social and communication skills and the presence of restrictive, repetitive behaviors. For the 80 percent of individuals with ASDs who speak, prosody—the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech—is among the most noticeable and chronic impairments. Prosodic speech deficits impede social interaction, and limit participation in vocational, recreational and learning activities. This project team is developing a prototype of SpeechPrompts, a multi-faceted speech therapy application (app) for phones and tablets to engage students with ASD in a variety of customizable therapy exercises to address strengths and challenges. The app will capture student speech, provide response in real-time, reward target behaviors, and track performance. The app will be designed for both home and in-school use. Pilot research in Phase I will seek to demonstrate that the software prototype functions as planned, the product can be used by service providers, and students are engaged by the prototype.