Child apraxia of speech

The objective of this work is to develop a multi-tier software architecture for automating the administration of speech therapy to children suffering from  apraxia of speech (CAS).  CAS is a neurological pediatric speech sound disorder (SSD) that debilitates oro-motor planning, and execution. CAS can delay acquisition of skills including the control of tone, breathing, intensity, and vocalization.  Our architecture follows a client-server model and facilitates task-oriented remote therapeutic training in home settings. The therapy regimen is remotely assigned to the child by a speech therapist based on a standardized protocol. We utilize tablet PCs to provide stimuli to the children and record their speech response. The speech data is then streamed to a backend server running specialized speech-processing modules to identify errors and quantify the progress of the child. These automated results allow the therapist to closely monitor the performance of each child, provide relevant feedback, and adapt the training program as needed. Our proposed architecture can accommodate a variety of interaction modalities that can serve as a complement to traditional face-to-face speech practice.

Relevant publications

J. McKechnie, K. J. Ballard, P. McCabe, E. Murray, T. Lan, R. Gutierrez-Osuna, B. Ahmed

Influence of type of feedback on effect of tablet-based delivery of intensive speech therapy in children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Inproceeding)

Proceedings of the Motor Speech Conference, 2016.


A. Parnandi, V. Karappa, T. Lan, M. Shahin, J. McKechnie, K. Ballard, B. Ahmed, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Development of a remote therapy tool for childhood apraxia of speech (Article)

ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing, 7, 3, Page(s): 10:1-10:23, 2015.

(Links | BibTeX)

M. Shahin, B. Ahmed, A. Parnandi, V. Karappa, J. McKechnie, K. Ballard, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Tabby Talks: an automated tool for the assessment of childhood apraxia of speech (Article)

Speech Communication, in press, 2015.

(Links | BibTeX)

T. Lan, S. Aryal, B. Ahmed, K. Ballard, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Flappy Voice: An Interactive Game for Childhood Apraxia of Speech Therapy (Inproceeding)

Proc. CHI-PLAY, 2014.

(Links | BibTeX)

Mostafa Shahin, Beena Ahmed, Jacqueline McKechnie, Kirrie Ballard, Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna

A comparison of GMM-HMM and DNN-HMM based pronunciation verification techniques for use in the assessment of childhood apraxia of speech (Inproceeding)

Proc. Interspeech, 2014.


A. Parnandi, V. Karappa, Y. Son, M. Shahin, J. McKechnie, K. Ballard, B. Ahmed,, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Architecture of an automated therapy tool for childhood apraxia of speech (Conference)

The 15th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS), 2013.

(Links | BibTeX)