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How Phonak Roger can help with autism spectrum disorder

focusing better with autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition. For children with ASD, challenges can be seen in a variety of ways, including social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. While the effects of ASD are different in each person, one common challenge is speech processing.
Now a microphone designed for use for people with hearing loss is also being recognized as a solution for helping people with autism focus better and process speech.

Focusing Better with Autism

Sonova, the world’s leading hearing solution provider, recently won the Excellence Award for Innovation 2020 at the “Innovation and Sustainability” 2020 Excellence Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility in China. The award focuses on the company’s solutions for children with autism.

To help children with autism process speech and focus better, Sonova has developed the Roger Focus. The device has a small Roger microphone for teachers or parents to wear that wirelessly sends voice directly into the child’s ear.

“Even kids with normal hearing sometimes struggle to focus in noisy situations,” according to Phonak. “By sending a teacher’s voice directly into the ear, wireless systems like Roger Focus can help children with Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).”

Read more: Research: Children with autism, ear deficiency could benefit from hearing aids 

Roger Technology and Autism

“Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have greater difficulties processing speech in the presence of background noise compared to their peers,” Phonak states. “Research has shown that wireless communication systems that significantly improve the auditory signal delivered to the ear are beneficial to these children.”

A research study in Australia also looked at whether Roger technology alleviated listening-related stress in children with ASD. The use of Roger Focus receivers resulted in improved speech perception in background noise. Fewer children also reported listening and communication challenges.

“Children have better concentration and understanding after using the Phonak product,”  says Guan Jingjing, director of the Sonova (Shanghai) Innovation Center. “We plan to expand the scope of testing to allow more people to benefit from the program.”

Read more: My review of Phonak Roger technology

Author Details
Lisa A. Goldstein has a Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley, a digital hearing aid, a cochlear implant, and plenty of deaf-friendly communication equipment. She spends her days juggling life as a freelance journalist, wife, and mother of two in Pittsburgh, PA.