SPEECH DEVELOPMENT platform Mylo Speech Buddy will add more languages to its educational videos for children with speech delays and those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The company is looking to expand the app’s languages to include Arabic and accented English, Mylo, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent Rocha said during a launch event on Tuesday.

“Although it is difficult, we are trying to work on [languages in] the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as well, but it is not yet final,” Mr. Rocha added.

He said these plans will be backed by the $30,000 funding from local and angel investors. The 10-month-old company has secured $80,000 in financing since its launch.

“We have experienced challenges, but again, moving forward, we’ve already validated that people are willing to pay for the app. The next step is scale and to develop the product as well,” Mr. Rocha said.

As part of their expansion plans, he said the company targets to reach 120,000 downloads on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store in 2024 from the current 18,000 downloads.

Mr. Rocha, who has a child with ASD, released the application globally in July 2023.

Mylo Speech Buddy aims to provide clear enunciation guidance for children using the video modeling method.

It is not meant to be a substitute for regular speech therapy and requires total supervision from parents, Mr. Rocha noted.

Mylo Speed Buddy is offering free subscription in April in celebration of Autism Awareness Month.

Francis M. Dimalanta of the Philippine Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics said at the event that people with ASD find social communication challenging.

Mr. Dimalanta noted that there is no single experience of autism, with some individuals being categorized as “low functioning” as anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can frequently occur along with ASD.

“Assistive technologies can be a game changer for children with autism in terms of communication, and very many children process visual information,” he said.

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1.2 million diagnosed cases of autism in the Philippines and 75 million worldwide. — Aubrey Rose A. Inosante