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This neurodivergent-friendly storytelling app was created by Coquitlam parents

Coquitlam's "LittleLit," through an artificial intelligence network, hopes it can inspire meaningful connections between parents and their kids.

Two Coquitlam parents are hoping their "little" app can make a big difference in the lives of other families in the region.

Dipti Bhide and Sachin Deo are the co-founders of LittleLit, a storytelling app that houses an array of children's books, providing education and learning opportunities for kids of all reading levels.

It's also powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that generates personal libraries for each user based on their favourite reads.

This includes specific "topics made fun," which Bhide said she hopes will make it easier for parents when having important, challenging or difficult conversations.

"LittleLit is not just a storytelling app. It is a tool for parents to connect with their children in a meaningful way," the Coquitlam mother of two said in a statement to the Tri-City News.

"Through personalized stories, parents can... foster a love for reading, and create lasting memories, including for neurodivergent children with conditions such as autism and dyslexia. As a parent and the founder of LittleLit, I'm proud to offer a solution that makes storytelling a truly magical and transformative experience for all families."

Experts say those diagnosed with neurotypical differences may have specific social preferences, ways of learning and communicating, and an alternate view of their surrounding environment.

And others suggest that reading to young children for 15 minutes a day can increase their vocabulary by up to 1,000 words per year.

Bhide explained LittleLit's goal to be inclusive and accessibility as it's crafted for all cognitive functions through various story themes.

"LittleLit's story generation feature exposes kids to a wide variety of stories, unlike reading the same storybook every day. Research shows that increased exposure to diverse stories can lead to improved vocabulary, literacy, and cognitive development in children, setting them up for success in school and beyond."

LittleLit's app was built and curated by Coherence Technologies Inc., a Metro Vancouver woman- and minority-owned startup.

On Monday (April 24), LittleLit announced on social media it surpassed 5,000 AI kids stories read since launching in March.

According to its profile, the company leverages the power of AI for personalized, interactive content to children with a focus on advancing kids' knowledge and learning skills to foster "a love for reading."

Bhide said the network is set to help parents select real-time stories based on new experiences, challenges or fears their child may be facing, and aid in understanding their emotions.

And, based on early reviews, it appears the app is already helping parents in more ways than one.

"The app is wonderful... very nice and useful, especially [for] kids 'til five," reads one poster on the LittleLit website.

"They are easy to read and good enough to put [my child] to sleep," said another.

"I'm not a huge storyteller and it really helped," a third comment reads.

Notable titles on the app include:

  • The Adventures of Ally and Her Unique Friends by Donna J. Davis
  • Sara's First Day at the Zoo by Dr. Colin Myers
  • Jaden & Zatie Visit the Dentist by Dr. Neelon Patel DDS, MS

For more information, you can visit LittleLit's website.

The app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.