Is your child suffering from any type of speech and language disorder? If so then you would be happy to know that researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a special computer system. This special computer will be able to automatically screen young children for speech and language disorders. It would thereafter be able to offer special diagnosis which would help to treat the disorder.

Early detection and intervention helps in treatment in a big way

We can well understand your anxiety in regard to your child’s speech and language disorder. Many times it seen that the problem remains untreated because it remains undetected till long. With the problem con-tuning it could make a big difference in their later academic and social success. Research shows that early intervention in treating the problem goes a long way in the recovery process. Thus this new technology could indeed make a big difference in effectively treating of speech and language disorders of many young children.

What this Computer System is all about?

Researchers who developed this computer system used a computer that looks for patterns in the large sets of training data to diagnose speech and language. For conducting the test children are made to undertake a standard story telling test. Here they are first presented with a set of images and an accompanying narrative. They are thereafter made to retell the story in their own words. These are recorded and the system analyses them. The entire system is fully automated and uses very simple tools. You could imagine the storytelling task being totally done with a tablet or a phone. Thus the entire process would involve minimum cost for screening a large number of children.

Experts in the field are of the opinion that assessing a child’s speech is particularly challenging. The reason for this is that there is a wide variation in the speech even amongst the developing children. Both speech and language disorders, according to experts have neurological bases. Investigators explain that they affect different neural pathways — speech or voice disorders affect the motor pathway. The disorders in language are on other hand affect the the cognitive and linguistic pathways. 

Researchers in the computer system made it identify a set of 13 acoustic features of children’s speech.  These were features like the number of short and long pauses, average length of the pauses and similar types of statistics. The children who participated in the story telling for the machine can be classified into 3 categories. These were ‘typically developing’, ‘suffering from a language impairment’, or ‘suffering from a speech impairment. 

To conclude we could say that the new technology is indeed a wonderful technology for detecting any speech or language disorder your child may be suffering from. In case any disorder is detected you must arrange for early intervention to ensure that your child is able to overcome the problem. In case you are looking for speech and language pathologists or speech therapy in Kolkata, then Speech Plus is one of the leading speech therapy clinics in Kolkata. For details please visit our website.