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Auditory Discrimination Therapy for Children with Auditory Impairments

Overview: Sada is an Interactive Therapy Program designed for children with auditory-discrimination impairments, which means that their hearing ability is intact but they have problems in understanding what they hear either because they either (a) started hearing post-surgery with cochlear implants or (b) were born with disorders  such as Auditory Processing Difficulties (APD), Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, have speech and language difficulties such as Autism, or have auditory attention problems such as children with ADHD.

Project Team:  Sara Drine, Arwa Alamoudy, Sara Alqublan, Moudhi Almozainy, Rawan Alabdulrahman

Supervisor: Dr. Areej Al-Wabil

Affiliated Researcher: Noura Alajroush, Speech & Language Pathologist in KFMC

Synopsis: There is a dire need for technology support for speech and language pathologists and speech therapists in the Arab world, and in Saudi Arabia in particular. The prohibitive costs and the limited availability of specialists lead to limited availability of rehabilitation programs for children who need auditory discrimination training beyond clinical settings. This system aims to fill this need by extending the rehabilitation beyond the clinic. Moreover, the system’s adaptability and simplicity aims to make it an effective tool in guiding the child and caregiver throughout the steps with minimal supervision or assistance as is required for some of the technology solutions available in the market in Non-Arabic languages. Much of the therapy is conducted in local dialects rather than Modern Standard Arabic; thus Sada provides discrimination games in two local dialects, and it also uses sounds and images which represent elements from the local culture to ensure familiarity for patients in our local context.

Awards and Publications:
Local: Won 5th place in Health Sciences Track of KSU's Scientific Student Symposium in Jan 2012.
Regional: Presented in the 4th Undergraduate Research Conference for Applied Computing (URC 2012) in Dubai, April 2012
International: Accepted for presentation in the 14th International Conference on Computers Helping People with special needs (ICCHP) in Linz, Austria, July 2012