The device, called the LENA system, is able to predict the child’s word use after four months.
The LENA system was used by researchers for their still-to-be-published work, which was presented at the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research held recently in Salt Lake City in Utah.
Researchers have long been tracking children’s vocal development manually, which requires them to listen to home videos and audio clips before analyzing them, which could be a tedious task. The newly created automated system works similarly to these manual methods, but yields instantaneous results and offers much more efficiency.
In their study, the researchers used a LENA recording device to collect audio recordings from children with autism who were in preschool. The recordings were later on analyzed through a software in the LENA system, which quantifies vocalizations such as grunts, squeals, and syllables.
According to Vanderbilt University Research Assistant Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences Tiffany Woynarosky, who is also the lead author of the study:
“This more cost-effective and time-efficient method may make it possible for clinicians to measure vocal development.”
As of the moment, however, the device is not yet available in the market.
Source: Nicholette Zeliadton the SFARI website: Device predicts future word use in toddlers with autism