Technology helps kids learn to communicate

February 20, 2006

Computers combining features from popular toys with innovative technology are helping improve the learning and communication skills of disabled children.

Penn State University researchers say they believe the technology could, in the future, be adapted to also assist victims of major accidents, as well as senior citizens.

Janice Light, a professor of communication sciences and disorders at Penn State, says more than 2 million Americans are unable to use speech to communicate, and children are a major component of that population.

"Kids learn and communicate through speech by trying out new words and forming sentences," said Light. "If they can't do that due to problems such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, then it is going to be difficult to learn how to read and write, make friends and communicate their needs."

Light and colleagues are working on a five-year research grant to redesign assistive technology to improve the learning and communication abilities of such children. The key, she says, is to develop technology that's appealing to children, easy to learn and simple to operate.

Light presented her findings Monday during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Integrating technology in the classroom

Related Stories

Want your kids to learn another language? Teach them code

September 22, 2015

Among Malcolm Turnbull's first words as the newly elected leader of the Liberal Party, and hence heading for the Prime Minister's job, were: "The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, ...

APNewsBreak: South Korea-backed app puts children at risk

September 21, 2015

Security researchers say they found critical weaknesses in a South Korean government-mandated child surveillance app—vulnerabilities that left the private lives of the country's youngest citizens open to hackers.

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.