1University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.2Cognoa Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA.3Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Orange, CA, USA.
Early identification and intervention of speech and language delays in children contribute to better communication and literacy skills for school readiness and are protective against behavioral and mental health problems. Through collaboration between the data science and clinical teams at Cognoa, we designed Storytime, an interactive storytelling experience on a mobile device using a virtual avatar to mediate speech and language screening for children ages 4 to 6 years old. Our proof-of-concept study collects Storytime session footage from 71 pairs of parents and children including 57 typically developing children and 14 children with a current or prior history of communication impairments. Initial findings suggest that participating children verbally engaged with the video avatar without significant differences in performance across age, gender, and experimental location, leading to promising implications for using Storytime as a future tracking tool with automated feature analyses to detect speech and language delays.
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