Finding Our Voice With New Speech Technology: Part 2

By: Jennifer Tripoli M.S., CCC-SLP

In my previous blog post, I introduced the Voice Box, a motor speech lab that houses equipment related to voice, resonance, and articulation. The first post was primarily centered around the Smart Palate technology by Complete Speech. Now I am here to tell you more about the other stars of the Voice Box, the Nasometer and the Visipitch.

Nasometer by KayPENTAX

speech tech 2 speech tech 1

Above pictures include computer with headset (worn by client) that takes nasalance measurement.

So what is the Nasometer? 

  • The Nasometer is an evaluation and treatment device that is able to objectively measure nasality (resonance) in a client’s speech.
  • Prior to this piece of equipment, clinicians were using their own perception or ear to determine if a client had a nasality problem. This takes the guess work out!

    Voice Box 2 Photo Credit Rich Howe
                        Photo by Rich Howe
  • Provides a nasalance score that objectively measures nasality.
  • Helps clinicians determine if further evaluation is needed to assess the velopharyngeal port by ENT or craniofacial clinic.
  • Allows clinicians to objectively measure progress in therapy for children with resonance disorders by improvements in nasalance scores.

Who would benefit from this technology?

  • Children with suspected nasality problems or resonance issues
  • Children with a:
    • Cleft palate
    • Deficiencies in the velopharyngeal port
    • Neuromotor/motor speech deficits
    • Hearing impairment
  • How is it used in treatment?
    • The Nasometer has biofeedback games that can be used in treatment and allow the child to practice appropriate resonance in real time speech.
    • The child is able to make adjustments based on feedback they are receiving in fun, highly motivating computer game.

Visipitch by KayPENTAX

The Visipitch can be used for a variety of skills and has various programs targeting different aspects of speech.

What does it do?

  • The visipitch is an all-encompassing instrumentation that gives real time displays for visual feedback of critical speech/voice parameters.
  • Contains 8 modules all used for different/various speech skills.

How do we use this technology at Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley?

We mainly use the Multi-Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP) to evaluate voice disorders contained in Visipitch software and Voice Games.

  • Gives clinician’s objective quantitative measures for voice analysis which can be compared to normal levels
  • Clinicians can measure progress in therapy based on improvements in quantitative measures provided by MDVP.

Who would benefit from this piece of equipment?

  • Children/adults with voice disorders
  • Children with vocal nodules or other vocal fold pathology
  • Children with hoarse, breathy , or harsh vocal quality
  • Children with motor speech disorders including apraxia and dysarthria

How is it used in treatment?

  • Visipitch contains a variety of highly motivating voice games to be used in treatment
  • Voice games are very visual and rewarding for children demonstrating good speech and voice behaviors
  • Voice games work on sustained phonation, frequency/pitch of voice, amplitude/loudness of voice, voice onset, etc.

The frog game (below) . Child is asked to sustain phonation or hold out voice to expand frog’s throat. If child holds out voice until frog’s throat expands, they are awarded with a visual reinforcement on the screen.

speech tech 3speech tech 4

Dragon/Fire game (below). Child is asked to use low to loud vocal volume to pop all the balloons with the dragon’s fire. This game works on vocal loudness and ability to control vocal loudness.

Voice Box 1 Photo Credit Rich Howe
Photo by Rich Howe.

speech tech 5

Of course, these pieces of equipment are never used solely in treatment. All equipment is used in addition to traditional speech treatment!

If you have questions or are interested in having your child evaluated for use of the Voice Box, please contact our intake coordinator at 630.282.2022.

The Voice Box has been a wonderful addition to the Speech and Language Department at Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley! We are forever grateful to the generous donors who made this possible! Thank you again!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s