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How iPads Give Speech to Nonverbal Children With Autism

By Becky Benishek | Posted on 11.26.2013 | 0 comments
How iPads Give Speech to Nonverbal Children With Autism
It’s set up as a normal routine, but with a special goal: Using a speech-generating device to encourage nonverbal children to develop their language skills.

"’For some parents, it was the first time they'd been able to converse with their children,’” said Ann Kaiser, a professor at Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

Kaiser is set to embark on a five-year study with colleagues from universities and medical schools to delve into just how effective the iPad is for speech therapy. She’s already instituted iPad use among five-to-eight-year-olds who have little to no speech, discovering that each child learned new words, and some formed complete sentences. She credits the iPad with providing a consistent approach to language through images and words that reinforce the lessons learned. As well, the relatively light weight of an iPad compared to more traditional speech-generating devices makes the experience more user-friendly.

Kaiser notes another important discovery: With a speech-generating app, the words have the same tone each time, making it easier for children with autism to recognize what the sounds mean.

Read more about Kaiser’s study and how iPads can deliver language. 

Get strategies for communicating with students on the spectrum [PDF].
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