This is a unique software item which I first read about on the Verbal Behaviour forum. It is based on ABA principles and is the only software available that I have found which offers voice recognition capabilities to encourage speech in individuals with autism.
SpeechTeach does not have its own website at this time but it can be purchased through a website run by The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. The Center is a nonprofit, charitable organization whose mission is to advance the scientific study of behavior and its humane application to the solution of practical problems, including the prevention and relief of human suffering. The website is targeted at behavior analysts working in many fields and the inventor of the SpeechTeach product is a long time member of the group. Note: Internet searches will reference www.7gt.com which no longer exists.
Select the CCBS Store link and then Language Training where you will find SpeechTeach. SpeechTeach was invented by a team of Behavior Analysts working in conjunction with experts in the field of autism. It uses videos and pictures of real items in a very reinforcing manner to encourage individuals to speak. The software gradually recognizes the student's voice and way of speaking and reinforces speech. The software can also be used with non-verbal students or without using Speech Recognition with the aid of a tutor.
The cost of the program is US$99.95 plus $35.00 for additional word modules. Although there are no specific studies completed to date, the program does draw on ABA prompting, errorless learning, fading and reinforcement schedules and has been endorsed by some of the top Behaviour Analysts in the Verbal Behavior field. The developer will provide a free CD with no charge for shipping for a two week trial. The product developer has been very quick to respond to email queries about the product and installation issues.
I have had some good results with this program in a short time. I have a mix of older and newer computers running Windows 98, 2000, and XP. While I have had a few problems getting all the installations to work properly, the product developer has been very quick to respond to email queries. It has also helped to have an IT tech person close by given the mix of computers available to me. At this moment I am still having problems with the Speech Rocognition on my Windows 98 installations and I hope to have the program installed on the District network. Although my trial was short before the end of the school year, the students who began using the program found it very engaging and certainly produced more language than I have heard from them. I have found using a headset with a boom microphone gives the most consistent results.
Fri Jul 7 09:26:18 PDT 2006