About Imagine Speech
The goal of Imagine Speech is to provide engaging video game software that focuses on speech-language skills for children. Each game is evidence based and designed on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and having children learn through success. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, learning differences, developmental delays, and other communication disorders may benefit from Imagine Speech games. Children without specialized needs may learn from Imagine Speech games too!
Exceptional children participated in making Imagine Speech games by recording the voices of Brainy Ben, Cool Katie, and Noble Nick. The children have happy and diverse personalities and are exceptional in many ways. One child is 8 years old and has a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum, one child is 8 years old and has diagnosis of a learning difference, and one child is 7 years old and participates in a gifted and talented program.
The character, Imagine, is based on Anne Coady's 6 year old Portuguese Water Dog who has specialized needs and lots of character.
About the Founder
Anne Coady is the president and founder of Imagine Speech, LLC. Anne received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine and has a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Anne has worked in medical and school settings and treated children with a variety of communication delays and disorders including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. During her time at Vanderbilt, Anne received a grant to help people who have traumatic brain injuries increase communication skills. She has given lectures on the topics of stuttering and autism to colleagues and parents.
Why Software Games? A note from Anne Coady
After working in a variety of classroom and medical settings, it became apparent that children love the computer and benefit from visual and interactive learning strategies. Verbal and non-verbal children initiate communication with others to request computer time, demonstrate attention and engagement to computer material, and show enjoyment with computer activities. Parents often report that their children spend time on the computer at home and inquire about speech-language based software for the home computer.
The computer seemed like a great way to provide practice for speech-language skills during computer time in the classroom, as rewards in class, as material for therapy, and at home with parents. After unsuccessfully searching for fun speech-language software games that reinforce skills taught in therapy and at school, I decided to make my own games. With the help of a talented game programmer and an amazing artist, I began creating engaging games that reinforce speech-language skills and common Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals.
I design games to help children learn and maintain speech-language skills, so Imagine Speech combines fun time on the computer with visual and interactive learning. It is my hope that Imagine Speech games are used at home, in the classroom, and in therapy with one or multiple children at a time.
About the Games
Imagine Speech games are designed like a speech-language therapy session. Games include introductions, models, direct instruction, targeted trials, support with hierarchical cueing, multi-modality learning, positive reinforcement, fun rewards, and review instruction. Children will find success and have fun.
The games begin with character introductions. Introductions allow children to meet the game characters and provide 4 different social greeting models.
After introductions, there is direct instruction on the targeted speech-language skill and a model. Children are walked through each step of the game during the model, so they will know what to expect. The first practice item matches the model to increase success.
Practice items are designed to include support with hierarchical cueing, visual and auditory feedback, positive reinforcement, fun rewards, and child success. Imagine Speech's hierarchical cueing lead children to success. Children are provided with 4 opportunities to answer each question correctly. Answer choices are narrowed in a systematic fashion which ultimately ends with only the correct answer, so that children successfully answer every question. The hierarchical cueing system is embedded with visual cues, verbal cues, and re-instruction on targeted skills.
Imagine Speech uses positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement to help children learn. When incorrect choices are made, children are prompted to try again with the addition of verbal and visual cues. Praise is immediately given when correct answers are chosen. Each practice item ends with reinforcement of the targeted speech-language skill and a fun animated reward.
Games conclude with review instruction on targeted speech-language skills.
Individual instructional levels are achieved by providing different levels of difficulty and support, so that games reach children at their level of instruction and learning.
Imagine Speech strives to reduce its impact on our environment. Imagine Speech uses minimal packaging and provides user information such as installation instructions and game descriptions on the Imagine Speech website to reduce material waste and decrease energy use. In addition to offering games on CDs, Imagine Speech offers software games that are available to download from this website.
Game Playing and Installation Instructions
To activate Imagine Speech software, enter the software key sent in your email receipt of purchase or on the sticker from the CD packaging.
Imagine Speech software is designed to be installed on one computer. However you are given an additional installation, in case you buy a new computer or you have two home computers.
Install Imagine Speech games by following the pop-up instructions during installation process.
To hear and see character introductions and greetings after launching a game, click on the character bubble pictures after Imagine introduces himself.
To replay questions and directions, click on the question or direction at the top of the screen or click on the speaker icon.
To replay answer choices, move the mouse over the answer choices.
Imagine Speech games keep track of independent correct responses and prompted responses. Data is displayed in the right bottom corner of the final review screen.
To skip animation after a correct response, click "next" or press the "enter" key.
To exit the game, click on the stop sign button.
Imagine Speech games are designed to run at a minimum 800 x 600 screen resolution. Increasing screen resolution higher than this will create a gray border around the main game window. It will not affect game or play performance.
For specific features designed for parents, teachers, and SLPs, please view specific sections.