How Autism Affects Speech Understanding in Multitalker Environments
Annual rept. 30 Sep 2012-29 Sep 2013
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK
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The modern household can be a chaotic place, full of noise from radios, televisions, family members. The ability to separate speech from background noise is a critical skill for understanding spoken language in such environments. Recent studies suggest that adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders have particular difficulty recognizing speech in acoustically-hostile environments e.g., Alcantara et al. 2004, but an underlying cause for this deficit remains unknown. This proposal tests our hypotheses that children with ASD will find it more difficult to separate the speech of different talkers than do their typically-developing peers. We also predict that they will fail to exploit visual cues on a talker s face to help in this task, further limiting their ability to process input and learn language on a typical schedule. Since we are only one year into this pilot proposal, we have not yet tested sufficient children with ASD to confirm or deny our predictions we can state that typical children as expected are better able to recognize speech in quiet than in noise in our task, and show better recognition when they can see the face of the person instructing them vs. when there is no visual speech information present.
- Voice Communications