Auditory training software developed by Dr Sharon Cameron and Professor Harvey Dillon from the Department of Linguistics has been awarded the prize for Service Delivery – Hearing & Auditory Rehabilitation at the 2023 Hearing Health Innovator Awards in the US.
The training software, Sound Storm, is an updated version of the LiSN & Learn auditory training software that was developed as part of Dr Cameron’s NHMRC Public Health Training Fellowship, and has been proven to reverse spatial processing disorder (SPD) in children after just 10 weeks of at-home use. SPD is a type of auditory processing disorder that impacts the ability to understand speech in noisy environments like classrooms, and is a common long-term consequence of protracted otitis media (middle ear disease) in the first five years of life. The development and evaluation of the software was conducted while Dr Cameron and Professor Dillon worked at the National Acoustic Laboratories a member of the Australian Hearing Hub, they have both since moved to Macquarie University, where they are continuing to investigate auditory processing disorders. Their current research includes development of a new, language-independent version of the training software for SPD, called Matchimos, in an industry collaboration with Sound Scouts HQ Pty Ltd (https://www.soundscouts.com/au/apd/).
Dr Cameron and Professor Dillon are also developing a modified version of the Matchimos software with the aim of addressing noise sensitivity and related anxiety in children on the autism spectrum.