A significant number of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) never gain functional speech across their lifespan. For many of these individuals, Speech Generating Devices (SGDs) have provided them with opportunities to verbalise their thoughts and needs to others. Recently, technology has developed to make these devices sound more like the person using them. The idea is that a more natural voice, rich in accent, gender and tone, will create a greater sense of ownership for communication in the child, thus enhancing the frequency and richness of the childs social interactions. This book investigates the ability of the child with ASD to recognise voice. It takes the reader on a journey, vividly questioning the assumption that voice recognition is a simple task for the typically developing child, the child with developmental delays and the child with autism. Each chapter unfolds into the next with a sense of purpose, curiosity and determination, in order to assess the potential of natural voice in SGDs for the child with ASD.
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Dr Susan Ní Chuileann is a native of Wexford in Ireland and the mother of four grown-up children. Susans youngest son, Evan was diagnosed with autism when he was almost three years of age, an event which sent her into a career of psychology and research culminating in this book. Having obtained a degree in 2007 and MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology in 2009, Susan was awarded a PhD in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin in 2014. She is a Lecturer of Psychology at Carlow College, Ireland and works tirelessly for the rights of children with Autism.
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