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).”
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“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