CLEVELANDA new commercial venture, using technology developed at Case Western Reserve University's College of Arts and Sciences and Case School of Engineering, has made available avatarsvirtual patientsto train speech-language pathologists.
SimuCase allows graduate students and others training to evaluate speech-language disorders to practice using an interactive, Web-based program, reducing stress on the trainee, because a diagnosis doesn't have to be made on a real person.
Graduate students studying to become speech-language pathologists have previously relied on classroom instruction, paper-based case studies and working with experienced therapists to gain experience needed for recommending interventions.
SimuCase avatars may present such challenges as a head injury, autism, difficulty hearing, or more than one language spoken at home and school.
SimuCase scenarios are based on information from actual speech-language pathology cases. One, for example, involves avatar Kara Lynn, a 3 -year-old referred for assessment by her preschool teacher because of unintelligible speech.
The first 10 SimuCase avatars are children, ranging from preschoolers to teenagers. Typically, the person or group in training would check a case history and then interact with the avatar by selecting or typing questions.
SimuCase users can discover through practice the best ways to interact with patients and others, such as a child's teacher or caregiver. There are also professional colleagues to consult. This training can occur anywhere, whenever the lesson is best for the therapist in training.
By asking the right questions, collaborating appropriately and using proper assessment data, the SimuCase user can more easily learn to make a correct diagnosis, according to Stacy L. Williams, PhD, adjunct assistant professor at Case Western Reserve's Department of Psychological Sciences Program in Communication Sciences.
|Contact: Marv Kropko|
Case Western Reserve University