For many young people with autism, one of the most significant disabilities relates to functional speech and yet the use of voice output technology in this field is still relatively unquantified. Following the development of the Proxtalker, a dedicated device designed to build on PECS skills, this study aimed to formally investigate whether the use of this mid-tech voice output communication aid could enhance communication for children with autism.
The study involved nine participants from three different schools, age range 15:0 - 19:0, and ran for four weeks. All of the participants in this study were experienced PECS users. The number of communicative exchanges made during set times in the school day were recorded using initially PECS and then the ProxTalker and comparisons made. The data collected will be used to consider whether there is clinical evidence to support the use of voice output technology for children with autism.