Boffins have developed a new system that helps to make communication possible for children who are intellectually disabled or have communication limitations. The device called [email protected] actually stands for Augmentative and Adaptive Communication System and can be particularly useful to autistic kids.
The [email protected] system could also be used by adults with cerebral palsy, or by adults who cannot speak for different reasons like heart attack, thrombosis, etc.
[email protected] has been created by a team of researchers including several professors of the Computer Engineering School (ETSI Informatica) and a team of psychologists, psycho-pedagogues and speech therapists including Canas Delgado at University of Granada.
The software for enhancing communication by computer devices (PC’s, laptops, PDA’s, etc.) is for children with special communication and educational needs, such as those who suffer from autism.
The [email protected] includes a speaker which transmits the ‘user’s comments’ to the listener.
Researchers found that through the [email protected] project, the child can express needs like going to the toilet or hunger, as well as states as being happy, sad, or tired.
Researchers claim that improved communication will lead to a decrease in disruptive behavior in disabled children. Consequently, the use of that display could also diminish aggressiveness in autistic children.
‘Many of them injure themselves and present aggressive behavior because they become frustrated when they cannot communicate with others. If they can communicate through [email protected], this problem would disappear,’ Delgado said.
The new device is handy and can be downloaded for free.
‘[email protected] technology tries to overcome the problems of the previous systems: it is adaptive, portable, and inexpensive. With a proper device, the user can download the software free of charge,’ Delgado added.