Welcome!

News Feed Item

Wireless communication devices help children with autism to understand and engage more in class

New peer-reviewed research shows that wireless communication technology offers children with autism "clear listening and communication benefits," with teachers reporting "consistent improvement in comprehension, attentiveness and classroom behavior."

WARRENVILLE, Ill., Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics has shown that sustained use of wireless communication devices can help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder understand more speech in class, aid in their social interaction and improve educational outcomes.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition with a range of behavioural symptoms including impaired social interaction and communication difficulties. Children with ASD often also experience problems processing sound1-3, which can further exacerbate their social difficulties. 

The study, The Use of Listening Devices to Ameliorate Auditory Deficit in Children with Autism4, is the first of its kind to explore the sustained use of wireless listening technology for children with ASD in mainstream classroom environments. Led by Gary Rance, PhD of The University of Melbourne, the research evaluated the monaural (single-ear) and binaural (two-ear) sound processing skills among a group of 20 children with ASD – and sought to determine the extent to which personal wireless listening systems (specifically, Phonak inspiro microphones and Phonak iSense receivers) could enhance these children's listening difficulties.

"The systems provided significant listening-in-noise, communication and educational benefits," said Rance, who is Associate Professor at The University of Melbourne's Department of Audiology & Speech Pathology.  "The children could hear the teacher's words better, communicate with their fellow students more effectively, and were generally more engaged in classroom activities than those not using wireless listening technology. Most of the children also wanted to keep using their devices after the trial had ended."

The research involved 20 children with ASD - 10 primary school students and 10 secondary school students - aged between eight and 15 years. A control group of age- and gender-matched children was also evaluated in order to test the authors' baseline assumption that children with autism experience more difficulty processing auditory information than those without ASD2-4.

Rance and his team evaluated each child's: auditory temporal processing (how the brain analyses sounds changing over time); spatial listening (how well both ears are used to localize and separate different sound sources); and functional hearing (speech understanding in background noise). Half (10) of the children with ASD then underwent a six-week device trial. During this period they wore Phonak iSense wireless receivers for up to seven hours per day, with teachers and parents speaking into Phonak inspiro transmitter microphones.

Wireless listening devices such as the Phonak inspiro/iSense systems used in the study - also sometimes referred to as frequency modulation (FM) systems - work by transmitting the words of a microphone-wearing speaker to small discrete ear-level receivers, bringing these words directly into the listener's ear. This approach has already been proven to improve the speech understanding of children with cochlear hearing loss5, central auditory processing deficit6 and auditory neuropathy7.

  1. Alcantara JI, Weisblatt EJ, Moore BCJ, Bolton PF. Speech perception in high-functioning participants with autism or Asperger's syndrome. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2004;45:1107-14.
  2. Alcantara JI, Cope TE, Cope W, Weisblatt EJ. Auditory temporal-envelope processing in high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder. Neuropsychologia 2012;50;1235-51.
  3. Groen WB, van Orzo L, tar Horne N, Winkles S, van der Gaga R-J, Butler JK et al. Intact spectral but abnormal temporal processing in autism. J Aut Dev Disord 2009;39:742-50.
  4. Rance G, Saunders K, Carew P, Johansson M, Tan J, 2013, The Use of Listening Devices to Ameliorate Auditory Deficit in Children with Autism, The Journal of Pediatrics 2013; doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.09.041.
  5. Hawkins D. Comparisons of speech recognition in noise by mildly- to moderately-hearing-impaired children using hearing aids and FM systems. J Speech Hear Disord 1984;49:409-18.
  6. Johnstone KN, John AB, Hall JW, Crandell CC. Multiple benefits of personal FM system use by children with auditory processing disorder (APD). Int J Audiol 2009;48:371-83.
  7. Rance G, Corben LA, DuBourg E, King A, Delatycki MB. Successful treatment of auditory perceptual disorder in individuals with Friedreich ataxia. Neuroscience 2010;171:552-5.

About Phonak

Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of the Sonova Group, has developed, produced and globally distributed state-of-the-art hearing systems and wireless devices for more than 60 years. The combination of expertise in hearing technology, mastery in acoustics and strong cooperation with hearing care professionals allows Phonak to significantly improve people's hearing ability and speech understanding and therefore their quality of life.

Phonak offers a complete range of digital hearing instruments, along with complementary wireless communication systems. With a worldwide presence, Phonak drives innovation and sets new industry benchmarks regarding miniaturization and performance.

For more information, please visit www.phonakpro.com and www.phonak.com

Phonak – Life is on

We are sensitive to the needs of everyone who depends on our knowledge, ideas and care. And by creatively challenging the limits of technology, we develop innovations that help people hear, understand and experience more of life's rich soundscapes.

Interact freely. Communicate with confidence. Live without limit. Life is on.

SOURCE Phonak

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
ChatOps is an emerging topic that has led to the wide availability of integrations between group chat and various other tools/platforms. Currently, HipChat is an extremely powerful collaboration platform due to the various ChatOps integrations that are available. However, DevOps automation can involve orchestration and complex workflows. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Himanshu Chhetri, CTO at Addteq, will cover practical examples and use cases such as self-provisioning infra...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jared Parker, Director of Financial Services at Kinetica, will discuss how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich inf...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.