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
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, will show how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningfu...
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...