ERIC Number: EJ796906
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Synthetic Speech Output on Requesting and Natural Speech Production in Children with Autism: A Preliminary Study
Schlosser, Ralf W.; Sigafoos, Jeff; Luiselli, James K.; Angermeier, Katie; Harasymowyz, Ulana; Schooley, Katherine; Belfiore, Phil J.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, v1 n2 p139-163 Apr-Jun 2007
Requesting is often taught as an initial target during augmentative and alternative communication intervention in children with autism. Speech-generating devices are purported to have advantages over non-electronic systems due to their synthetic speech output. On the other hand, it has been argued that speech output, being in the auditory modality, may not be compatible with the processing preferences of learners with autism. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether five children with autism and little or no functional speech learn to request more efficiently when provided with speech output during instruction (SPEECH condition) rather than without speech output (NO-SPEECH condition). A secondary purpose was to monitor changes in natural speech production. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to evaluate the relative effectiveness and efficiency of both conditions. The results showed frequent requesting under both conditions. Two students requested more effectively with speech output and one student requested more effectively without speech output while there was no difference for the remaining two students. In terms of elicited vocalizations, only one student showed some improvement. The other children did not show any improvement in natural speech production. These data extend previous research on the effects of speech output on requesting in children with autism.
Descriptors: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Autism, Children, Artificial Speech, Assistive Technology, Efficiency, Speech Communication
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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