An effectiveness trial: Speech generating devices in children with Angelman syndrome
$198,948 (2 years)
The overarching goal of this research is to generate evidence to guide families on the appropriate selection and use of speech generating devices (SGDs) that may help individuals with AS better communicate. The researchers will conduct a trial of individuals with AS aged 7-15 years who use presymbolic means of communicating and live within a 60-mile radius of Boston, MA. First, the research team will use feature matching—a comprehensive evaluation of sensory and communications needs—to match the individual to the best speech generating device based on his or her specific needs. Then, the team will implement a training program to teach the participant how to use the device to make a request (i.e., request their preferred object). This focus allows the research team to determine whether the training program is effective, and produces consistent results across all participants and devices that may be applicable to help families in the real-life setting in the future.