October 19, 2009Speech tool aiding communication skill of children with cerebral palsy

A new speech tool may help to improve the ability of some children born with cerebral palsy or other conditions to communicate with others. The custom designed devices use a series of screens with pictures on them to allow children to “speak” through their computer and improve their language and communication skills.

The speech generators consist of a monitor with multiple screens that contain dozens of words and an illustration or photo. By switching between screens, a child can select multiple words, which are then read aloud by a computerized voice.

The devices allow children born with cerebral palsy, autism or brain injuries who have trouble speaking some words to communicate their ideas more clearly. Over time, additional words and phrases can be programmed into the device to allow greater possibilities for communication.

The speech generators are one of a number of communication tools or techniques known as augmentative and alternative communication. Other examples include sign language, gestures or pointing at objects.

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