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SpeechPrompts™ provides speech therapy exercises to help those with autism practice rate, rhythm, stress and loudness of speech (prosody). The U.S. Department of Education’s IES SBIR program funds research and development of SpeechPrompts, a collaborative project with the Yale Child Study Center.
SpeechPrompts is a new app from HandHold Adaptive®, makers of iPrompts®, StoryMaker™ and other leading tools serving those with special needs and their caregivers. It is designed for use with individuals exhibiting abnormal prosody, such as those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), Down syndrome and stroke victims. Prosody refers to the musical aspects of speech, including rate, rhythm, volume, phrasing and intonation.
The app includes the following features:
- VOICECHART: Like a “voice thermometer,” VoiceChart provides real-time feedback on loudness of speech. Speakers are shown visually whether they are “Too Loud,” “Too Quiet,” or “Just Right”. Sliders allow customization of the thresholds between each volume zone. An animated meter changes color based on the current volume level. Users may select from included graphics to illustrate when speakers are “Too Loud,” “Too Quiet,” and “Just Right,” or use the built-in camera to supply their own accompanying visuals. VoiceChart can also be useful exercise for individuals with hardness of hearing.
- VOICEMATCH: Provides visual and aural feedback on stress, rate and rhythm of speech by comparing a “Teacher” voice recording to a “Student” voice recording. The Student voice sample is compared both visually (via a waveform graphic) and aurally (via audio playback) to the Teacher recording, which serves as a target or model phrase. The Student attempts to “match” the Teacher waveform by repeating it aloud. Visual differences between the two audio recordings can then be highlighted (e.g., point to the differences on the screen and discuss). As part of the exercise, users may guide students through repeated attempts to more closely match the waveform. Waveforms can be trimmed using scissors, and slowed down to half or three-quarter speed.
- LIBRARY: Select from 50 included Teacher waveforms, or add your own recording to the Library for later use in VoiceMatch. Search or browse the Library to find existing clips. Users may also categorize, label and re-record samples if desired.
- FLEXIBLE IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS: A Sensitivity control allows VoiceChart to be used in quiet and loud spaces alike.
- SHOW HOW INTONATION AFFECTS MEANING: Record multiple variations of a phrase, each emphasizing different words (e.g., “Do *you* have that video game?” versus “Do you have *that* video game?”). Then, use these recordings in VoiceMatch to teach how emphasizing different words can change the meaning of a phrase.
- PRODUCT RESEARCH: SpeechPrompts has been investigated in U.S. classrooms by autism researchers from the Yale Child Study Center. Inquiries about our research may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Handhold Adaptive® was founded in 2008 by the family of a young boy with autism. We create applications for caregivers of those with special needs, including iPrompts® (visual support sand schedules), AutismTrack™ (track medicines, diets, therapies and behaviors) and StoryMaker™ (the premier app for Social Stories™). HandHold Adaptive® proudly releases SpeechPrompts™ to help caregivers everywhere practice rate, rhythm, volume, phrasing and intonation when working with individuals with autism.
To learn more, visit: www.handholdadaptive.com. Facebook: iPrompts.
Patents pending. ©2013 HandHold Adaptive, LLC, all rights reserved. SpeechPrompts research is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Small Business Innovation Research program.