Socially assistive robots (SARs) have been shown to be promising therapy tools for children with primary or co-occurring language impairments (e.g., developmental language disorder and autism spectrum disorder), but only a few studies have explored the use of SARs in speech-language therapies. This work sought to address the following research goals: (1) explore the potential of using SAR for training linguistic skills of children with language impairments, targeting specific aspects of language and measuring their linguistic improvements in speech-language therapy; (2) explore children’s facial cues during SAR-supoported speech-language therapy; and (3) collect therapist perspectives on using SARs in speech-language therapy after having experienced it. Toward these goals, we conducted an 8-week between-subjects study involving 20 children with language impairments and 6 speech-language therapists who conducted the SAR-supported therapy. Children were randomly assigned to either a physical SAR or a virtual SAR condition; both provided the same language impairment therapy. We collected linguistic activity scores, video recordings, therapist questionnaires, and group interview data. The study results show that: (i) the study participants’ overall linguistic skills improved significantly in both conditions; (ii) participants who were engaged with the physical SAR (measured based on gaze direction and head position) were more likely to demonstrate linguistic skill improvements and had a significantly higher numbers of speech occurrences in the child-robot-therapist triads with the physical SAR; (iii) therapists reported skepticism about SAR efficacy in this context but believed that SAR could be beneficial for keeping children engaged, motivated, and positive during speech-language therapy.

Spitale, M., Silleresi, S., Garzotto, F., Mataric, M. (2023). Using Socially Assistive Robots In Speech-Language Therapy For Children With Language Impairments. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ROBOTICS, 15(9-10), 1525-1542 [10.1007/s12369-023-01028-7].

Using Socially Assistive Robots In Speech-Language Therapy For Children With Language Impairments

Silleresi, S;
2023

Abstract

Socially assistive robots (SARs) have been shown to be promising therapy tools for children with primary or co-occurring language impairments (e.g., developmental language disorder and autism spectrum disorder), but only a few studies have explored the use of SARs in speech-language therapies. This work sought to address the following research goals: (1) explore the potential of using SAR for training linguistic skills of children with language impairments, targeting specific aspects of language and measuring their linguistic improvements in speech-language therapy; (2) explore children’s facial cues during SAR-supoported speech-language therapy; and (3) collect therapist perspectives on using SARs in speech-language therapy after having experienced it. Toward these goals, we conducted an 8-week between-subjects study involving 20 children with language impairments and 6 speech-language therapists who conducted the SAR-supported therapy. Children were randomly assigned to either a physical SAR or a virtual SAR condition; both provided the same language impairment therapy. We collected linguistic activity scores, video recordings, therapist questionnaires, and group interview data. The study results show that: (i) the study participants’ overall linguistic skills improved significantly in both conditions; (ii) participants who were engaged with the physical SAR (measured based on gaze direction and head position) were more likely to demonstrate linguistic skill improvements and had a significantly higher numbers of speech occurrences in the child-robot-therapist triads with the physical SAR; (iii) therapists reported skepticism about SAR efficacy in this context but believed that SAR could be beneficial for keeping children engaged, motivated, and positive during speech-language therapy.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Children; Language impairments; Socially assistive robots; Speech-language therapy;
English
7-ago-2023
2023
15
9-10
1525
1542
open
Spitale, M., Silleresi, S., Garzotto, F., Mataric, M. (2023). Using Socially Assistive Robots In Speech-Language Therapy For Children With Language Impairments. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ROBOTICS, 15(9-10), 1525-1542 [10.1007/s12369-023-01028-7].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/399936
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