Augmentative Communication

Speech generating devices provide people who cannot speak a means to communicate with others again. Multiple methods to access devices, such as with hands, head, and eyes, are being studied. Current research focuses on the impact of eye gaze access to speech generating devices on communication for children with neuromuscular conditions and adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Speech Research

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Children with childhood apraxia of speech struggle to program and sequence speech movements and control the inflection of their voice, despite no muscular deficits, which leaves children with severely unintelligible speech. CAS may be accompanied by language and literacy deficits, academic difficulties, and deficits in phonological processing and literacy. Ongoing research focuses on using the computerized augmentative communication devices to improve the communication of children with childhood apraxia of speech by enhancing their speech and language skills. Additionally, research comparing different motor learning practice techniques is underway to identify more effective intervention for children with childhood apraxia of speech.

Neuromuscular Speech Disorders

Adults with degenerative neuromuscular diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, may gradually lose their ability to speak. Current research focuses on improving the assessment and treatment of individuals with movement-based speech disorders and timely decision-making.