RESEARCH is at the core of our development
To create a learning tool that is effective and engaging and builds on the best practices of current communication systems.
Check our Resources page for detailed background and helpful information.
Prior to designing the application, the Sing to Say team conducted a year of research on the effects of music in learning language for children with autism.
Then, two phases of applied research were conducted in partnership with Centennial College, the Applied Research and Innovation Center and two grants from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Our first prototype was produced and we conducted formative research including focus groups with educators and therapists and user testing with children, parents and educators in partnership with the Toronto District School Board.
With lessons learned, we created the current version of the application.
We then conducted qualitative research with children and families in Boston and the Greater Toronto Area. We also conducted informal interviews with Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and ABA clinicians in the same areas.
What We Discovered
- Music and language are acquired in different parts of the brain
- In autism the language centers are impaired but the music centers usually are not
- Most children with autism love music
- Most children with autism can Sing what they cannot Say
“It makes the augmented communication come alive. It’s a language board that isn’t static. You hit the button and it animates. There’s definitely something about the animation… it triggers a response that’s very powerful.
It’s really remarkable the app with the music …..it completely embodies moving to the music, it taps into complicated pathways in his body. I know he’s physically engaged…. I can see it! I knew we were onto something and really, I wanted something that might help my grandson find his voice.”
– GRANDFATHER TO 3 ½ CHILD WITH ASD AND A DIAGNOSED SPEECH IMPAIRMENT