- Regional and rural children with speech sound difficulties needed for research using Say Bananas, a new speech pathology app
- The current study is the first to focus on regional and rural children
- Participants need a home internet connection for the child to use an app on a tablet to do speech therapy practice for four weeks
A Charles Sturt University study seeks children aged four-and-a-half to 12 years with speech sound difficulties to have free use of a new speech therapy app for four weeks.
The participating children and their parents in rural and regional Australia will be invited to provide feedback on the app and its useability will be assessed.
The research is led by Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition Sharynne McLeod in the Charles Sturt School of Education in Bathurst, with Dr Kirrie Ballard and Dr Beena Ahmed (from app developers Say66), and research assistant Ms Grace Kelly (Charles Sturt University / EnhanceABILITY).
Ms Kelly said the app, Say Bananas, has been created over the past 10 years by speech pathology and engineering researchers Say66, who won the Speech Pathology Australia Innovation Award for 2020. She said it is a fun and motivating way for children to do their speech practice at home.
“Research has been undertaken in Sydney previously, and the current study is the first to focus on regional and rural children,” Ms Kelly said.
“We are looking for children who live in regional and rural Australia, have difficulties with their speech sounds or who others find hard to understand.
“The children need to be aged between four-and-a-half to 12 years and have no problems with their hearing or understanding what is said to them.”
Ms Kelly said once chosen for the study, the children and their parent or guardian will complete questionnaires on the child’s development and a short speech assessment, then they will have free access to the app for four weeks.
“Participants will need a home internet connection so the child can use an app on a tablet to do speech therapy practice for four weeks,” she said.
“They can use their own tablet (iPad or Android) or we have a few to loan.
“At the end of the four weeks, we will ask the child and their parent or guardian to complete online questionnaires, undertake another short assessment and a short interview to provide feedback on the app.”
This research is sponsored by an AMP Tomorrow Fund grant to Dr Ballard and has Charles Sturt University Human Research Ethics Committee approval.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, and information about the research project about Say66 and the Say Bananas app is available on social media: