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IES Contract

Title: Online Music-based Game for Children with Speech- Language Delays/Disorders
Center: NCSER Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Sonnenschein, David Awardee: IQSonics
Program: Small Business Innovation Research in Special Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8 months (6/24/2019 – 2/23/2020) Award Amount: $199,451
Type: Phase I Development Award Number: 91990019C0023

Through previous research and development, the team created a web-based musical game for preschool children with speech-language delays and disorders, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other cognitive disabilities. The game, which is used by children alone or in tandem with a special education practitioner or caregiver, supports children in understanding and expressing musical patterns, and in learning to sing songs before speaking. This project will extend the existing version by developing a prototype that includes additional songs for increased speech-language learning outcomes, an animated onscreen singer to support children, and automated reports for practitioners to monitor progress and individualize subsequent instructional practice. At the end of Phase I, in a pilot study with 30 preschool-aged children with speech delays, the researchers will examine whether the new prototype functions as planned, if practitioners can understand and find the data generated by the reports useful, and if children show promise for increasing engagement and performance in recognizing select target words and in the speech of these words.