Is there an interactive counseling tool for parents to use with Roger?
Yes, BabyBeats is relatively new and is an app for Android or iPhone. It is an early intervention resource, and it establishes pre-verbal skills through interactive, natural musical engagement, which helps to develop the listening brain. There has been a lot of research about how music can enhance language learning. It has been shown that if a baby is exposed to music, that exposure will strengthen neural pathways and will prime that child for language learning. There is also growing evidence that music assists with early listening and language development, and emotional well-being of children. All of this research is the basis for BabyBeats. In addition, we have designed a way for BabyBeats to be used in conjunction with the Roger system (either the touch-screen mic or the Roger Pen) and the child's receivers, to ensure that the child has access to everything that this application has to offer.
Why should we use BabyBeats?
BabyBeats is easy to use. It offers simple and fun activities for parents and babies or toddlers to do together to improve the child's language and listening. When BabyBeats was used in conjunction with Roger, parents reported seeing improvements in their infant's or toddler's early listening and communications skills. In addition, they witnessed improved interest in sounds, attention, reaction and copying at other times of the day, when they were not using BabyBeats. Parents also felt more confident interacting with their child, increasingly using their voice during play activities. Using BabyBeats, parents felt more relaxed when playing with their infants. They reported that their children displayed more nonverbal communication, and were engaged in more face-to-face interaction. All of the parents stated that they greatly enjoyed using all four musical trials (parents surveyed at the Elizabeth Foundation, UK). If you can download the BabyBeats app, I think that you will find that it is a great resource that truly helps prepare children pre-lingually to learn to listen and talk. If you are interested, I can provide you with the fact sheet for BabyBeats and Roger, so that you can share those with your families.
This is what the app looks like (Figure 1). There are four activities to choose from: movement and music, explore instruments, explore animals and explore transportation. Along the bottom of the screen, you can navigate the app using the home menu, the guide screen, the music screen and pictures. The last option on the bottom right provides the user all of the research supporting why we should use BabyBeats.
Figure 1. BabyBeats app.