Visualizing Syllables: Real-Time Computerized Feedback Within a Speech–Language Intervention

Laura DeThorne, Mariana Aparicio Betancourt, Karrie Karahalios, Jim Halle, Ellen Bogue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computerized technologies now offer unprecedented opportunities to provide real-time visual feedback to facilitate children’s speech–language development. We employed a mixed-method design to examine the effectiveness of two speech–language interventions aimed at facilitating children’s multisyllabic productions: one incorporated a novel computerized feedback system, VocSyl, while the other used a traditional noncomputerized pacing board. Eighteen children with a variety of diagnoses, all of whom were at the single word stage of development, enrolled in either one of the two explicit speech–language interventions (VocSyl or Pacing Board) or an active control group. Convergent findings between and within groups supported the effectiveness of the VocSyl condition. For the children with a clinical diagnosis of autism in particular, visual inspection of individual data on treatment versus control targets indicated positive treatment effects for both of the two children enrolled in the VocSyl condition and one of the two children enrolled in the Pacing Board condition. Although the study does not permit definitive conclusions about the effectiveness of any particular treatment tool or strategy in isolation, it offers preliminary support for the integration of real-time computerized feedback within speech–language intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3756-3763
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Autism
  • Computerized feedback
  • Developmental disorders
  • Intervention
  • Language
  • Speech
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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