Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Making words meet: Using computerized feedback to facilitate word combinations in children with ASD  

The goal of this interdisciplinary study is to examine the use of a novel treatment (i.e., computerized feedback) to facilitate speech production in children with ASD. Communication difficulties represent a core feature of ASD, but literature documenting the effectiveness of speech therapy in this population is sparse. The study hypothesizes that visual feedback provides an effective means to facilitate speech in children with ASD and to this end have developed software that visually depicts meaningful aspects of voice production (e.g., loudness, pitch, and turn-taking) on a computer screen. The study expands this technology to graphically represent individual syllables and examines its influence on multisyllabic speech production in a planned group design of 18 children with ASD who are randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (a) speech intervention with computerized feedback, (b) speech intervention with traditional feedback using a pacing board, and (c) social skills intervention without an explicit focus on speech. With support from the National Science Foundation, the research team is developing computer software that will provide real-time visual feedback in response to speech production, thereby allowing children with ASD to see meaningful differences in their own speech and the speech being modeled for them. The effects of the computerized and traditional speech interventions on children's spoken language will be compared to the effects of a general social skills intervention that is intended to be beneficial but not focus on speech production explicitly. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $89,518.00
Current Award Period 2010-2012
Project Number 5744
Principal Investigator DeThorne, Laura
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Technology-Based Interventions and Supports
Strategic Plan Objective New! Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SG. Support at least five studies on interventions for nonverbal individuals with ASD by 2012. Such studies may include: o Projects examining service-provision models that enhance access to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) supports in both classroom and adult service-provision settings, such as residential service-provision and the impact of such access on quality of life, communication, and behavior; o Studies of novel treatment approaches that facilitate communication skills in individuals who are nonverbal, including the components of effective AAC approaches for specific subpopulations of people with ASD; and o Studies assessing access and use of AAC for children and adults with ASD who have limited or partially limited speech and the impact on functional outcomes and quality of life. IACC Recommended Budget: $3,000,000 over 2 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
State/Country Illinois
Web Link 1 Making words meet: Using computerized feedback to facilitate word combinations in children with ASD (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Not available at this time. This functionality is experimental.