Voice Notes: Reinforcing Verbal Communication
- Communication is about expressing wants, needs and ideas. But for people with autism, coordinating all the parts of your body to spit the words out at the right time can be very difficult.
- With Voice Notes, they can record common words or phrases and create a screen full of labeled “voice notes”
- This reinforces communication:
- Type it/write it to label the icon — express wants, needs and ideas
- Read what they type — practice verbalizing want, needs and ideas
- Play back/communicate: hear their own voice and have others understand à reinforces & motivates communication.
- People with autism have difficulty using and hearing their own voice at the same time. Recording/play back allows them to hear their voice after they’ve done the work of using it.
- Students with difficulty speaking don’t have to do the work of verbalizing every need. To express a need, simply touch a Voice Note on the screen and express the need in their own voice.
- Not a computerized voice- it’s their own. This is highly motivating!
Functionally similar to proven AAC devices on the market.
- With specialized software, the TouchSmart becomes just like many other proven AAC devices on the market only significantly cheaper and much simpler to access and utilize!
Easily Individualized -You can change it to suit individual needs and to grow with the child’s communication skills. (lots of icons vs. few, etc… in contrast to hardware devices which are pre-programmed)
- Example – Hope Technology School teachers have creatively and easily adapted their own educational tools. Innovation is easy with the TouchSmart because it is compatible with all pc software. (PixWrite for instance can help teacher write his/her curriculum using symbols. They can also use Intellitools or even create their own curriculum by adapting it using multi media that are accessible in a regular PC.)
Inclusion: Exceptional Motivation for Communication
- With the TouchSmarts, students are now using a common media. They can leave notes for friends, video email, etc…
- Teachers can use programs on the TouchSmart for inclusive classroom activities because everyone can use the TouchSmart. No one is left out. For example, “Jeopardy” — everyone can participate in this quiz tool.
How communication skills have developed and improved
- In a matter of weeks, one student went from speaking 2 words in 45 minutes to verbally reading whole paragraphs in 20 minutes while combining the use of Tomatis Vocal Therapy Microphone and TouchSmart Voice Notes.