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New Portable Communication System Developed for Autistic Children

Researchers have developed a new system called SC@UT that would make communication possible for children who are intellectually disabled or have communication limitations.

SC@UT, which stands for Augmentative and Adaptive Communication System, has been created by a team of researchers including thirteen 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 (PCs, laptops, PDAs, etc.) is for children with special communication and educational needs, such as those who suffer from autism.

The SC@UT includes a speaker which transmits the users comments to the listener.

Researchers found that through the SC@UT project, the child can express needs like going to the toilet or hunger, as well as states as being happy, sad, or tired.

The system could also be used by adults with cerebral palsy, or by adults who cannot speak for different reasons like heart attack, thrombosis, etc.

Researchers claim that improved communication will lead to a decrease in disruptive behaviour in disabled children. Consequently, the use of that display could also diminish aggressiveness in autistic children.

Many of them injure themselves and present aggressive behaviour because they become frustrated when they cannot communicate with others. If they can communicate through SC@UT, this problem would disappear, Science News quoted Delgado, as saying.

The new device is handy and can be downloaded for free.

SC@UT 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.


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