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Benefits of Tablet-based Serious Games to Promote Speech Production in Young Children With Hearing Disabilities

Learning to speak is a major challenge for children with hearing impairments. Nowadays, special devices such as conventional hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) or cochlear implants (CI) allow successful rehabilitation of patients with hearing disabilities. To obtain maximum benefit from these technical aids, instrumented hearing impaired children require specific and intensive speech therapy to compensate for speech development delays. In addition, it is also of primary importance that during daily life (e.g., at home, at school) children are provided with sufficient and good quality auditory stimulation. The main goal of this project is to encourage speech production with an edutainment tool that can be used at home and that is adapted to the specific needs of young hearing impaired children. For this purpose, the investigators have recently designed an innovative educational solution: FunSpeech, a tablet-based set of video games that respond exclusively to sound and speech. The aim of this serious game is to encourage hearing impaired children to produce controlled sounds in terms of rhythm, intensity, and pitch. These are the main abilities required for controlled speech production. Finally, this serious game aims to support the parents' key role in the speech learning process by offering an effective solution that is easy to use at home with young children.

Start: March 2020