Software to Enrich the Noun Lexicons and Lexical Learning of Children with Autism

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$191,819.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1R43DC010957-01
Agency Tracking Number:
DC010957
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
NIDCD
Solicitation Number:
PHS2010-2
Small Business Information
LAUREATE LEARNING SYSTEMS, INC.
LAUREATE LEARNING SYSTEMS, INC., 110 E SPRING ST, WINOOSKI, VT, 05404
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
064237621
Principal Investigator:
MARY WILSON
(802) 655-4755
MARYW@LLSYS.COM
Business Contact:
SWEIG WILSON
(802) 655-4755
kathyh@llsys.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The objective of this project is to develop a curriculum and prototype software for a research-based vocabulary development program featuring a combined lexical-cognitive approach to noun acquisition. The target population for the curriculum will be children ages 3;0 to 12;0 with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as well as a broad range of other children with language disorders. The curriculum will use a core noun vocabulary in four sets of training activities to address four interrelated goals: (a) to train a core noun vocabulary using both fast and slow mapping strategies; (b) to enrich the semantic features of lexical entries by associating functional and/or descriptive information with each noun; (c) to enhance lexical organization by using the core vocabulary in a series of categorization activities involving superordinate classification, inclusion, and exclusion; and (d) to expand paradigmatic schemas with training that associates basic level nouns with paradigmatically associated concepts. In Phase I, a subset of the curriculum will be developed and used in field-testing with subjects in the target populations. Data collected will be used to guide Phase II development and field-testing of the full curriculum for efficacy with the target populations specified. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Impaired language is recognized as one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Despite extensive incidental exposure to language, many children with ASD have a markedly limited vocabulary and are clearly in need of formal remediation. The goal of this project is to develop a curriculum and prototype software for a research-based vocabulary development program featuring a combined lexical-cognitive approach to noun acquisition. The curriculum will focus on helping children to develop the learning processes necessary for efficient lexical acquisition and organization, and on laying the groundwork for a rich and semantically well organized conceptual framework. This will provide a cost effective means to promote early language and cognitive development in children with ASD as well as a broad range of other children with language disorders.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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