Scottish Researchers Using Ultrasound for Speech Therapy
[Source: The Scotsman]
Scottish researchers are using ultrasound technology to help treat children with speech problems.
Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh and Edinburgh University have developed an innovative technique to allow youngsters who have problems forming words to see on a computer screen how their tongue is moving.
Researchers can then use this information to help teach children how to make the right shapes they need to pronounce words.
The researchers now hope to create even clearer images of the tongue using information taken from MRI scans, making it easier for youngsters to see how they can improve their speech.
Speech sound disorders – where people have difficulties forming certain sounds – are common in childhood, affecting around 6.5 per cent of children and making communication difficult. But experts fear that current treatment is inadequate.
Professor Jim Scobbie, director of the Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre at QMU, said: “Most people who have difficulty creating the correct speech sounds receive therapy which relies on their auditory skills – they must listen to their own speech then try to modify them.
“However, with these more traditional methods, some children struggle to improve their speech.
“With ultrasound technology people can see the movement and shape of their own tongue inside their mouth in real time and use this visual information to help them create the correct sound.