Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Computer Activities for Those With Speech and Language Difficulties?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the yr-voice-is-yr-password dept.

Medicine 145

An anonymous reader writes "My girlfriend is training to be a speech and language therapist here in the UK (speech pathologist in the US). A number of clients are guys who enjoy playing computer games, and for a variety of reasons some have no incentive to try and improve their speech. The issue is, this can obviously inhibit options for jobs and/or other aspects of life. I was trying to think of fun computer-based activities for those with speech and language difficulties that encourage individuals to speak, and furthermore to speak with greater clarity. Or games/activities that might encourage them to do more speech work. The first options that sprang to mind were the online games with team-speak / team-talk for those with mild difficulties. The sampling / accent issue might force them to speak with greater clarity or wish to have that ability. Obviously, they can just type. Any thoughts?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

It all depends (4, Insightful)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945260)

How significant a speech impairment are you talking about?

If it is only a speech issue (like a lisp) and they don't value the therapy, then I'm not sure what to say. I know a guy here who has quirky speech, but he's doing fine as an engineering student at a major university.

The reason we target speech in kids so heavily is that speech issues may (although not always) be a symptom of an underlying language problem that interferes with many other aspects of language. It's not just making kids talk better; it's more about giving kids who need it a redundant channel to learn phonology, morphology, and syntax.

Put your "oh oh" in my "oh oh." (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945402)

Put your "oh oh" in my "oh oh."

I want to smell my girlfriend's "oh oh." (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945472)

I want to have hot fun in her "unhh unhh."

Re:Put your "oh oh" in my "oh oh." (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945578)

Your Bo bo [youtube.com] in my Ho-oh? [bulbagarden.net]

Same here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945408)

We had some guys with quirky speech in our engineering college too. We called them "International Students."

Re:Same here (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945604)

We had some guys with quirky speech in our engineering college too. We called them "International Students."

For better or worse, misproununced words are often funny to our ears.

I'm wondering, though, to what degree therapy really does help. I know plenty of people who can't pronounce the letter "r" clearly (let alone trill them in succession) even after years of therapy. And then there's those people, both young and old, who have adopted the Barbara Walters style of pronunciation.

By contrast, teaching a non-native English speaker to pronounce the word "the" correctly seems easy.

Re:Same here (2, Interesting)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945796)

/r/ is by far the toughest one. It causes people in our profession much consternation. But, as you point out, if all of the other consonants are normal, having the /r/ be a little off isn't that big a deal. There's a wide range of what is intelligible to our ears.

Walters (along with many who grow up speaking Asian languages) cannot even hear the English /r/. She didn't get the joke when they impersonated her on SNL, for example. Some people's brains interpret that sound as something else entirely, which is why they can't produce it.

Some kids have even more extensive phonological problems where other sounds are interpreted as the same (/t/ sounds just like /k/, for example). This is a problem that can mess with reading and language learning beyond just the problem of "talking funny."

Re:Same here (2, Interesting)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946518)

>Walters (along with many who grow up speaking Asian languages) cannot even hear the English /r/.

Sorta like many Nepalis who can't tell the difference often between SS and SH and B and V. Interesting. I'm currently in the process of retraining my ears so that I can understand Nepali and spend a lot of time helping Nepali international students with English as well as basic life skills. I already speak or understand various languages to some degree, but some of the sounds in Nepali I have had to, or am in the process of, teaching my ears to even hear them properly.

Parent makes a lot of sense. Mod up.

Re:Same here (2, Insightful)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946608)

Talking about Walters, doesn't her carreer as a wildly successful news anchor contradict the OPs statement 'The issue is it can obviously inhibit options for jobs/other aspects of life etc.'. I don't think that it's obvious at all. The need for adult speech pathology seems massively overrated for most people in most professions if even news anchors can get away with having an impediment.

Re:Same here (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946786)

I was a subject in a psych experiment about 10 years ago. After I took part I found out that the object was to determine the effect of visual clues on consonant sounds. The 2nd part of the experiment I watched against white noise what I thought was someone saying ba, da, bga, bda, etc.. Turns out it was simply the lips that were going the different sounds and the sounds were all apparently identical - that white noise made me feel very ill.

Anyway, the importance of visual clues shouldn't be ignored.

I still occasionally slip up with th and f sounds which I didn't naturally distinguish when I was learning as a child (before about 10 years old when it was pointed out to me). Now with my eldest lad (4) I'm encouraging him to watch and mimic not only the sounds people make but also their lip and mouth shapes as well as giving cues as to how to hold his tongue to make the correct sounds - also games around clicking his tongue and silly aerated rhymes "thronging thrush thrusted through the threadbare trees" or whatever comes to mind. Seems to be helping.

Re:Same here (0, Offtopic)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948054)

What might also be good is some device for dogs (ddr dance pads + computer + software), and some training for humans, so that people stop trying to get their dogs to do stuff like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXo3NFqkaRM [youtube.com]

I suspect many dogs can talk to us if we just give them a device to do so something like what Stephen Hawking uses might be useful (with a cut down vocab).

A huge part of perception is done in the brain, I found the McGurk effect rather interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFPtc8BVdJk [youtube.com]

No matter what I know and try, I still hear the sound that's not there when I look at it...

Re:Same here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946994)

We also had some "token niggers". They mostly flunked out after a couple semesters. I'm not sure if they can be trained to speak English or not. The African (as in international) students didn't want to have anything to do with them, lol.

Re:It all depends (2, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945490)

But isn't a guy with a Lisp a programmer?

Re:It all depends (0)

buswolley (591500) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945924)

Well if he is retarded, then he programs with Visual Basic for Applications.

DOn't get me wworngg., Igh prugrum with VbA.

Re:It all depends (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947350)

'yes

Re:It all depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945752)

Try a palatometer...
  completespeech.com [completespeech.com]

Re:It all depends (1)

Caity (140482) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945970)

I don't think the OP is talking about lisps and stutters.

We've all seen the family out to dinner with mum and dad staring into space and the kids totally absorbed by their Nintendos. The prevalence of modern technology has created massive problems in the development of language skills in kids because it has made it so easy for them to avoid conversation.

It's a skill that has to be practiced just like everything else.

It becomes a vicious cycle as the child grows older - they know their speech isn't good, so they continue to avoid situations where it is necessary.

I've heard of otherwise normally intelligent teenagers who cannot express frighteningly simple things like "I like the way she looks in that dress" without a lot of effort. They speak like you would expect someone to speak after learning a foreign language for about three weeks - they have to think about the words and the order of the words, and they make stuff up that sounds plausible to cover the fact they know they are getting it wrong.

Computer games are part of the problem and I don't think they can be more than a minor part of the solution as theses kids need to learn the visual aspects of communication as well - body language and facial expressions. These people need face to face interaction that involves cooperative problem solving to encourage them to talk.

Reasonably complex board games are probably good - games like Risk maybe? I also think that something like D&D would probably be great for people with this sort of problem.

Re:It all depends (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946084)

What about scrabble? seems like almost obvious. Or Boggle.

Re:It all depends (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946974)

We've all seen the family out to dinner with mum and dad staring into space and the kids totally absorbed by their Nintendos. The prevalence of modern technology has created massive problems in the development of language skills in kids because it has made it so easy for them to avoid conversation.

Or has technology really increased conversation. I mean, due to the internet the average person talks to many more people than ever before. For example, right now I am replying to your post, I might never see you, we might live in different countries, we may have totally different interests and career paths yet we are communicating. 30 years ago that was unheard of. Yet it is something we do on a daily basis.

I've heard of otherwise normally intelligent teenagers who cannot express frighteningly simple things like "I like the way she looks in that dress" without a lot of effort. They speak like you would expect someone to speak after learning a foreign language for about three weeks - they have to think about the words and the order of the words, and they make stuff up that sounds plausible to cover the fact they know they are getting it wrong.

Or you know it could be part of the social awkwardness of teenagers where they don't want to give a huge complement and seem like they are romantically interested with someone yet they don't want to completely ignore it. Or they want to make a joke but don't know how the other person will take it, etc.

Computer games are part of the problem and I don't think they can be more than a minor part of the solution as theses kids need to learn the visual aspects of communication as well - body language and facial expressions. These people need face to face interaction that involves cooperative problem solving to encourage them to talk.

But is our society as a whole shifting towards text based communication? For one its much more private, would you rather sit on a bus next to someone screaming loudly on their BlackBerry or next to someone spending the ride texting? It is also a lot less demanding, when you call someone or arrange to meet someone somewhere they have to stop whatever they are doing and devote a lot more time and energy into quite honestly trivial things. Most people's conversations are not really huge in depth conversations but rather short questions, answers and replies. For example, what can be accomplished in 2-3 messages via texting would take a lot longer if you had to call the person, also, it avoids "phone tag" and other annoyances, if they are eating dinner they can simply text you an hour or two later. Both parties have an absolute guarantee that they got the message exactly as it was given to them. The telephone call and face-to-face meetings are more or less obsolete, especially for the numerous friends people have who aren't the closest people to them but they still wish to communicate with.

Endwar (5, Interesting)

Overunderrated (1518503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945264)

Tom Clancy's Endwar. Have to speak clearly to control the RTS game, without the possible embarrassment of talking to real people in an online game.

Re:Endwar (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945298)

Good one. I'd recommend Odama if the speech recognition wasn't so awful.

Or chat/IM using Dragon Speaking Naturally. Social, but where the other person can't actually hear you.

Re:Endwar (1)

psYchotic87 (1455927) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945824)

Or chat/IM using Dragon Speaking Naturally.

Doesn't speech recognition software require you to train them before using it? I'm asking because if you let the person with a speech impairment train the software, said software won't know whether what's been said has been done so with clarity.

Re:Endwar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29947340)

Yep... and to talk slowly to it... and to hope you're lucky.

Why are we even going through all this trouble? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945896)

Serious question: Why are we pandering people with speech and language difficulties when there are other, more worthy ways to direct our time and money? It's probably cheaper to feed and shelter them in some kind of facility, where their language deficits won't be a problem for them. They can watch movies and play board games all day, and their families, if they want, can visit them on the weekends. I know this isn't a popular sentiment, but the ideal, optimal way to deal with most of these situations is "out of sight, out of mind."

English or American? (3, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946110)

Note that the poster was in the UK - so does the speech recognition understand English or just American? I remember an incredibly frustrating phonecall using the United Airlines speech "recognition" system they used a while ago to give out flight times. Being British the damn thing completely failed to understand what I was saying until I guessed that it wanted a US accent. Amazingly my fake American accent was enough to get some comprehension from the system. So, unless whatever speech recognition you use is designed for British accents and language, all you may end up doing is exchanging one speech impediment for another!

Re:English or American? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946828)

Well, just drop the poncy British accent and learn to talk regular, you limey fuck. I mean, geez, I know the Brits like to whine shrilly about their damn problems to everyone (this, besides the fact that they're hideously ugly, being the main reason British women are unmarriageable), but when your retarded problems are your own damn fault I don't know why you think anybody is going to have any sympathy for you, or even give two shits.

Several months (-1, Troll)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945282)

Let them spend several months living in a cardboard box after their parents are dead and they lose the house. It might give them an incentive to move up to human from humanoid underground basement dweller.

Re:Several months (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945588)

Precisely what I was thinking. Putting people in bubbles aren't going to make them change. How about taking away their computer? Better yet, how about giving them a computer which only responds to speech? We aren't helpless creatures and our empathy for people sometimes end up producing negative results. People need real challenges, not a pad on their backs. Now I'm not saying people should be tortured, please don't misunderstand me here, I'm saying that there's a reason to why people who don't speak a language learn to order food or ask for directions first. If we really need to learn something we will try our hardest to learn it. Sometimes it might not be enough -- in which case a person should be aided, but until then the service would more often be a disservice. Fluffing the pillows of already privileged people is not the answer, and yes if you own a computer which you can play games on without worrying about food on your table and a roof above your head you are privileged. There are people far worse off who become far greater humans, because it was either pull your shit together or die. Though of course there were also many who didn't make it, still I think we can all agree that with regards to these people in topic it's long way until it reaches to that.

Re:Several months (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947042)

How about letting them be? You know, as a kid I always hated artificial consequences, they don't work in the real world. In most cases they were totally pointless. For example, you come home late and so you get grounded. That doesn't happen in the real world. You come home late in the real world and you either get up for work the next morning and are a bit tired, you take a "sick" day or the day off and nothing more comes of it. In the real world if you have a speech problem in general nothing major is going to come of it if you are skilled in another area. Look at Stephen Hawking, due to ALS, he requires a voice synthesizer to speak yet he is one of the most brilliant men of our time. If you are good enough in other areas to not have to speak much, good for you. We should not place false artificial consequences, people in "the real world" are generally pretty accommodating if you don't tick them off. I have no doubts that someone who is mute or talks strange can accomplish great things, if they can live their life without needing to speak properly let them.

GTA: Fair Lady City (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945284)

The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain except when beating hookers.

Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, too (3, Interesting)

pw700z (679598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945292)

I'm almost ready to teach myself multimedia programming -- i'd love to have a simple program that would show a picture of an object, say the name of the object ("Say 'snake'") and then record the child saying the word, then play it back for them to hear themselves saying it through headphones. Icing would be if it could somehow evaluate the word and maybe have them try a 2nd or third time if they didn't get it right.

Even more icing would be to make it fun on some level.

There's lots of stuff out there but it's way more expensive and/or complex then just the simple computer program described used to augment traditional speech therapy.

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (4, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945404)

No, we won't help you with your homework.

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29947472)

If all you're going to do is tell people you won't help them, why on Earth are you on AskSlashdot? Do you by any chance visit gaming forums and tell the members to stop wasting their lives? Perhaps go on Linux forums and smirk at how all those people are giving away code and help to ungrateful leeches?

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945978)

Feedback control is usually how they got people to stop stutter.

They put a microphone on them and feed what they're saying back into headphones with a slight delay.

I guess it's also good for other things. [speechcorrector.org]

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (1)

pw700z (679598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946678)

Thank you -- you've provided a whole new avenue I can craft Google searches around, and the linked software is very interesting, too.

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946542)

Check out Kanji Crammer at:
http://www.crammersoft.org/kanjicrammer.html

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (1)

pw700z (679598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946690)

And thank you -- tools for language study is an angle i haven't explored yet.

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946744)

hint: "Praat Language Lab was developed to help students and language teachers learn to use the Praat software to improve spoken English. Many colleges and universities use Praat to provide visual feedback to spoken sound."
apply google with hint

If the program is too complex, the problem may be complex.

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (1)

dexotaku (1136235) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946972)

What you're describing is almost exactly how Rosetta Stone [as seen on TV] works.

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29947050)

Not to hijack, but ...

... but, fuck all of you, I will anyway.

Jesus, what a self-absorbed moron.

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947112)

A novice programmer like yourself could conceivably get the first part. Displaying images, recording and playing back sound samples are all readily available functions you can call on via C# and open source libraries.

However, adding the second feature would increase the complexity of the project a hundred to a thousand times. That's high end speech recognition, and you would need to put in probably months to years coding it up and would need advanced understanding of mathematics and of the algorithms used to do that.

Re:Not to hijack, but I need something for a kid, (1)

tabrnaker (741668) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947816)

Or you can use python on linux and the open source speech libraries designed by academic linguists to do this sort of thing. A google search for speech analysis/recognition and linux should turn up the necessary libraries.

Now, understanding the gobbledygook that comes with speech analysis to actually understand the libraries is what might take years.

When I have to phone a robot (3, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945294)

And it doesn't understand me, it usually just pisses me off, rather than cures my speech. :-/
Unless you want me to speak very loud and slow to everyone!


automated POS: "would you like to... say yes for option one"
me: "yes"
robot: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that, please repeat"
me: "YES"
robot: " I'm sorry, I didn't understand that, please repeat... or press 1 for yes, 2 for no"

[furiously presses 1]

Re:When I have to phone a robot (1)

reverendbeer (1496637) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945994)

That's because you mistakenly think that "Yes" is pronounced "Munfth."

Re:When I have to phone a robot (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946080)

My school had a phone robot that would call people on campus. (Small School), the problem was that it was adaptive and learned how you 'pronounced' peoples names. Leaning to all sorts of hilarity.

"Who would you like to call:"

Jane Doe. [dials].

Jane Doe Slut. "Did you mean Jane Doe" "Yes" [Dials]

Jane Slut. "Did you mean Jane Doe" "Yes" [dials]

Slut. "Did you mean Jane Doe" "Yes" [dials]

Re:When I have to phone a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946086)

Yo, mod this up - the only thing with the slightest bit of insight in this entire thread was here.

If you think you can teach received pronounciation or even "proper speech" by aversion? Think again, and be ready to suffer a lot for the pointless suffering you'll cause on your "pupils".

Re:When I have to phone a robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946120)

I have the same problem when I call cell phone companies and I have no speech problems. I've found the easiest way to deal with them is to scream obscenities until it says let me get you to someone. Then I scream at them for a few minutes about their retarded phone system.

Re:When I have to phone a robot (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946148)

I gave up on speech recognition software after I got an iPaq with Dragon's command recognition software bundled.

The only command I could get it to reliably understand, and I kid you not, was the command to turn it off.

Re:When I have to phone a robot (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946224)

I had the speech recognition turned on on my Macintosh until it decided that the sound that my office chair made when I leaned back was "gimp." I'd lean back in my chair, which would make a springy sound, and the Mac would launch X11 and Gimp. Very annoying.

Brain Training (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945302)

I've just been discharged from a neuro-rehabilitation unit in the states to treat the aftermath of a 6 cm benign tumor resection in my right-frontal lobe. I didn't participate with the full program of offering, but I did have a very good Speech therapist who didn't focus just on language but also on things like deductive reasoning, scanning for words in blocks of text, and other interesting cognitive exercises. One of the things we did was work on what are sometimes called Quizzles, or logic puzzles. Where you are given a situation and a set of clues, and you are left to decide how to solve the puzzle, given that only one condition per subset could be true, resulting in the negation of the rest of the options. At first they were difficult because my brain was just tired (I was going through radiation treatments simultaneously), but after a time, they got easier as I was healing and the other therapies I was receiving was taking hold.

One of the programs she had also introduced me to was a program called "Brain Train" which had a whole subset of interesting ways of interpreting problems and coming up with a solution. One of those ended up being an interactive Towers of Hanoi puzzle. Since I'm able to write code, I had to go back into memory and remember the way that was solvable using recursion. I didn't tell her that though.

Another thing that I think worked for me was the "Brain Age" titles for Nintendo DS. There's lots of things that don't pertain to speech, but there are some things that are.

Re:Brain Training (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29947492)

I've just been discharged from a neuro-rehabilitation unit in the states to treat the aftermath of a 6 cm benign tumor resection in my right-frontal lobe. [...] There's lots of things that don't pertain to speech, but there are some things that are.

Normally I don't give people a hard time about their language on the Internet. However, considering the difficulties you are working through right now, I thought you might be interested in the following correction:

Your parallelism is off. The opposite of "don't" is "do" rather than "are." Expanded, we would say: There are lots of things that don't pertain to speech, but there are some things that do pertain to speech.

No Software Will Replace Therapy (4, Interesting)

leetrout (855221) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945352)

I am the son of an SLP here in the states and a patient of hers as well. This was a fortunate situation for me because I got good therapy and I had parents that were involved. No software will ever replace good therapy with a good therapist / pathologist.

That being said, there are video and board games to be used as therapy tools and they are all geared toward children from preschool through high school. I created a video game about a year ago for just this purpose. The games require the player to get a speech bubble which cues a visual and auditory stimulus, then the player should repeat the stimulus with their best effort. You can even use it with a microphone so that the game continues after you say the word. It does not, however, do any speech recognition, just merely detecting audio activity.

You can download a small demo (Flash projector, demo is Win only but the game is Win / Mac) at the website, http://www.2galsspeechproducts.com/ [2galsspeechproducts.com]

Feel free to contact me directly if needed. leetrout _at_ gmail _dot_ com

SLP = speech language pathologist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945516)

for those of you lucky enough not to have experience in this area.

Video Games (4, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945354)

My son's autistic. Playing video games with him made him much, much more verbal, taught him how to solve problems, express directions, give orders, and more.

Re:Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945780)

if he likes videogames, check out the Facesay program, neat program that teaches folks with ASDs better facial communication/recognition.

Re:Video Games (0, Offtopic)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945954)

my brother is autistic. he always gets his money back from the hookers =/

Re:Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946728)

Right, have them play WOW, and talk with teammates. They might get incentive fast.

On a different note, if they have no incentive to change, why bother attempting to change them? THAT's a very useful question for a therapist to ask.

Re:Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946800)

Potential incentive giver:

Tell them they can get laid more frequently if they can speak well.

Can't think of anything that would give most guys more interst.

My son's psychotic (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947654)

So I got him Postal 2 [wikipedia.org] . The times when he's setting characters on fire and putting them out by peeing on them is by far the happiest he's ever been. It's fun to see him find fulfillment, but I've taken to locking the bedroom door at night.

No Incentive (2, Interesting)

perlhacker14 (1056902) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945358)

As someone going through this sort of therapy, I can tell you that if an individual has no incentive or desire, there is absolutely no point in trying.
Game team talk type things might help, but only if they have issues with that kind of situation. There is no substitute for real life trials.

Why a client with no incentive? (1)

codeAlDente (1643257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945382)

If they have no incentive to improve their speech, why are they clients of a speech pathologist? Whose money is being wasted? The person paying the pathologist should limit their computer use, and maybe talk to them more often.

Re:Why a client with no incentive? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945436)

I'd have to guess that they are required to attend in order to continue to receive unemployment benefits or some such.

Biased against gamers! (2, Interesting)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945420)

A number of clients are guys who enjoy playing computer games, and for a variety of reasons some have no incentive to try and improve their speech

I have every incentive. When you are split from the team, a boomer's just puked his bile over you, you're blind as a bat, and the zombie hoard is coming, you need to communicate quickly, concisely, and clearly to your team mates. Since I have started using a mic for gaming , I find myself, mumbling less(such as at work), and becoming very proactive in the quality of my voice communication!

activities for those with concrete thinking issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945446)

star gazing & hand waving is back/bigger than ever. being kind to your neighbor is still wide open.

Don't do anything (2, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945462)

"some have no incentive to try and improve their speech."
If they have no incentive then don't bother with them. If someone isn't willing to work at something then there's no point helping them, they're still going to fail. If they have trouble getting employment, then that's an incentive right there. You don't need to create incentives for someone who doesn't want to try.

If there isn't an incentive then there usually isn't a problem. If they don't have trouble getting a job, don't have trouble working with people, don't want to talk to people online, then they're not likely to bother trying to improve their speech.

Re:Don't do anything (1)

nulldaemon (926551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945590)

If they have no incentive then don't bother with them. If someone isn't willing to work at something then there's no point helping them, they're still going to fail. If they have trouble getting employment, then that's an incentive right there. You don't need to create incentives for someone who doesn't want to try..

It's clear the OP doesn't give a toss about why the clients "have no incentive", he just wants to solve the problem regardless of your feelings about people needing to motivate themselves. I respect his position much more than using emotions or jealousy as an excuse not to solve the problem.

Re:Don't do anything (2, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945760)

And yet, the rather flamebait-ish response is completely valid and correct. A lack of incentive will lead to a lack of success - so you need to address that before you can address the actual problem (and once you do, traditional approaches will probably work fine). Wasting time on people that don't give a damn is just that - wasting time.

That said, if the patients are so into gaming, that would be a good place to start looking to FIND motivation. No, I don't have any advice in this area, as it was primarily people chatting in video games that drove me away from online gaming.

Re:Don't do anything (1)

nulldaemon (926551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947230)

And yet, the rather flamebait-ish response is completely valid and correct. A lack of incentive will lead to a lack of success - so you need to address that before you can address the actual problem (and once you do, traditional approaches will probably work fine).

Nevertheless, in this case the incentive *is* the problem that the OP is trying to address through the use of computer games. The OP is asking how to address this problem, and instead of answering directly, Freeman basically responded "you shouldn't solve this problem" or asserted that the problem is inherently unsolvable. Both of those answers are very much unproductive.

Re:Don't do anything (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945738)

Your theory might work (emphasis on the might, very few human societies have ever tried to operate on the "well, if he isn't motivated just ignore him until he is" principle, so there aren't many data) on more or less rational adults.

It is quite possible, though, given the usual places you find speech/language pathologists that OP's girlfriend will be dealing with children. That strategy simply doesn't cut it with them.

You mean like marketing people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945536)

Just wondering...

Nonhuman listeners might not be the best route... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945646)

Disclaimer: I know nothing of artificial voice recognition.

If the voice-recognition software erroneously recognizes incorrect pronounciation/inflection/etc as correct, you might end up just training these people to produce speech that satisfies the internal rules used by the recognition software - which may differ from speech we'd classify as more normal. In a more machine-learning sense, the error surfaces between the software and human speech recognition share a minimum (normal human speech) - but, the software may have other minima into which the speech-impaired folks may inadvertently fall.

only slightly OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945674)

Whoever decided that they should be called 'speech pathologists' didn't really think of the patients. 'Speech pathologist' actually quite a difficult thing to say.

Re:only slightly OT (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945816)

Whoever decided that they should be called 'speech pathologists' didn't really think of the patients. 'Speech pathologist' actually quite a difficult thing to say.

That's not only slightly "OT." That is exactly the sort of thing an Occupational Therapist would say.

Old school but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945742)

What about a MUD? For the uninitiated, it's a text-based multiplayer online RPG. There are hundreds to choose from, themed from Star Wars to Discworld to Pokemon, so hopefully there would be one that they'd be interested in. Clients and games are (almost all) free, so it's a good option for a low budget too.

It's text-based, sure, but you can't type the usual gibberish you would in an FPS chat for example. You have to write fully formed sentences, and generally as you get better at playing, your sentences become more fluent and detailed (especially in an RP MUD). I would say improved reading and writing would carry over to speech, but I'm not a therapist, so I couldn't say for sure.

My other thought would be, if there are a lot of these guys, why not set up a tournament in something like TF2? You might be able to disable text, but even if you can't it would still help. If there are only people with similar problems playing, then it should reduce nervousness about talking to each other, and playing a team game like that means that coordinating your actions and clearly describing situations and locations on the map to each other gives you a huge advantage over the other team.

Girls. (3, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945794)

A passle of good looking girls, a few beers, and these guys will have lots of incentive to hone their language skills.

It's like the old story of the kid who grew to be twelve years old without ever uttering a word. Doctors found nothing, psychologists found nothing, neurologists found nothing - there was no reason why he shouldn't talk.

One morning though he sat down at the kitchen table picked up his breakfast, and said "This porridge is cold!"

His startled Mother says "My God Tommy! You talked! What happened?"

Tommy looks at her and says "Until now everything was OK."

Re:Girls. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946554)

Yes.... and no. It's easy to think that everyone is created equal and if you can do it, so can they. Truth is, some brains are just wired differently from early development, and there are things you can do that they can't - and likely things they can do that you can't.
 
/. is a good sampling of differently wired brains that are much slower at impressing the opposite sex - maybe no less desire than normal, just really clumsy.

Re:Girls. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947730)

A passle of good looking girls, a few beers, and these guys will have lots of incentive to hone their language skills.

That didn't work for the slashdot crowd. Plenty of incentive and generally we still only speak geek and get shy around women ;-)

It's like the old story of the kid who grew to be twelve years old without ever uttering a word.....Tommy looks at her and says "Until now everything was OK."

That story is pure fiction. If kids know one thing innately it's how to complain. Some babies are more placid, I'll grant you but babies get sick and babies get fussy. There is no way you're going to make the perfect meal for 12 years running.

NLD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29945798)

Perhaps do a little bit of study in the realm of non-verbal learning disorders, these can affect speech and language as well.

Timmeh (1, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945860)

Timmeh!

TIMMEH!

Spectral Analysis (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29945940)

It's not a "game" per se, but it might be interesting to the client to see a spectrogram [wikipedia.org] of their actual speech. Then they could try to match the pattern to a model spectrogram of the therapist's speech.

Then you could make funny fart noises and see what those look like.

Computer activity for those with language diff.. (2)

FreemanPatrickHenry (317847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946032)

Slashdot editor?

must at least have a hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946042)

Masturbation is a great one

flight sim (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946100)

Get 'em flight gear, set up a multiplayer env. where they have to do voice communication wtih air traffic control

Random Idea: Rosetta Stone (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946174)

OK, this is a somewhat random idea. There are a few games that use speech input (some have already been mentioned), but they are usually very finicky for someone without any speech problems, so I would think they would be very frustrating for people who have trouble.

So let me try a semi-random idea: what about Rosetta Stone?

Everyone's pronunciation sucks when they start learning a new language. If you could find one they are interested in for whatever reason (French, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, whatever) they could learn that language. Not only would that be a useful skill, but they would have to work at the new pronunciations. As they get better at those, they will improve their ability to pronounce those same sounds in English. Actually, a language that sounds rather different from English may be better as everything they say, right or wrong, will sound "foreign" and thus be less likely to trigger embarrassment.

The more of the language they learn, the more useful it becomes to them as they could talk to other people, watch TV/movies from a country that speaks that language, etc.

I got quite a lot of reading practice from video games as a kid. If they are the kind that might be motivated to learn a new language, it could really work.

By the time they decide "this is stupid", perhaps their speech will have improved enough for them to see it's worth while.

Re:Random Idea: Rosetta Stone (1)

tabrnaker (741668) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947900)

Then again, very few languages have the same speech sounds as English does. Nor do they have the same frequency range.

Now, what helped me with my English pronounciation was yoga and correcting my posture.

Makes perfect sense when you think about it since how we use the different resonant cavities in our body and how we shape them determines the sound that comes out. In fact, the difference between being able to pronounce r and l has a lot to do with head tilt.

Just watch a good voice impersonator to see how they contort themselves..

Computer-assisted language learning (1)

yaoziyuan (1668976) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946216)

Some of my computer-assisted language learning (CALL) ideas on http://sites.google.com/site/yaoziyuan/ideas [google.com] can also benefit native speakers. For example:

Orthography-Enhanced English (OEE) - Sometimes spelling a word based on its pronunciation can be hard, even for native speakers. For example, is it Lawrence or Lawrance? We can slightly change a word's visual form to help recall its correct spelling. For example, when the computer displays a word that has the -ance suffix (e.g. instance), it can lower the letter a to some degree, just like Intel has a trademark "intel" with a lowered e. Such a new visual form can help people recall that the unclear letter in inst?nce is a because a is always lowered in -ance while e is never lowered in -ence.

Speech Software (1)

JScarry (1668978) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946270)

We've been selling speech software since 1994 that seems to do what you are asking for. Basically we show a picture and say a word. phrase, sound, sentence, and an exaggerated version of the word. The student repeats the sounds and compares their version to ours. It's simple but it works. Most of our users are kids, but adults who have had strokes or head injuries use it too. Our website is at http://www.learningfundamentals.com/ [learningfundamentals.com] You can check out the software, without the recording part, in the Exercises section.

Games that are good for talking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29946578)

Off the top of my head the best game I know of that encourages voice chat and has built in chat is Dungeons and Dragons online.

You can play it for free, it has built in chat, and its not so intense so people seem to be more friendly than they can be in other games.

Learning Fundamentals in San Luis Obispo, CA (1)

Brett Johnson (649584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946884)

Several years ago I did some software consulting for a company here in San Luis Obispo that developed such products.
They develop software aimed at people with speech difficulties due to learning disability, hearing loss, or stroke.

http://www.learningfundamentals.com/ [learningfundamentals.com]

It is a small outfit run by a very reasonable guy named John Scarry.

Improving Speech May Not be the Answer (3, Interesting)

codermotor (4585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946888)

"A number of clients are guys who enjoy playing computer games, and for a variety of reasons some have no incentive to try and improve their speech."

This is pretty vague. There are many types of speech difficulties and many ways of dealing with them. As another poster pointed out, minor impediments are one thing, but problems related to physiological problems are more difficult to deal with.

My wife has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy which carries a side effect of her having Tongue Thrust. No degree of traditional speech therapy is going to allow her to control her tongue well enough to speak, although some old-school (and clueless) SLP's tried during her childhood. An Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) device, specifically this [dynavoxtech.com] , was the solution for her. There is a huge technology industry supporting people with severe speech problems, and similar tech is covered by most insurance carriers in the U.S., including Medicare.

"The issue is it can obviously inhibit options for jobs/other aspects of life etc."

It can and does but it doesn't have to, nor should it. There is a lot more tolerance of disabilities today. We know many people with moderate to severe speech-affected disabilities who manage to lead lives which are not so much affected by by their speech as they are by other aspects of their disabilities. The bigger problem for people with certain types of congenital speech problems, is not speech itself but language and communication deficits which come as a result certain areas of the individual's brain not being developed to the same degree as those who go through the normal speech-learning process as children. Modern SLP's will recognize when tradional therapy is not only the wrong approach, but actually counter-productive.

"I was trying to think of fun computer based activities for those with speech and language difficulties that encourage individuals to speak and furthermore to speak with greater clarity."

There is a lot of software out there which can be used by therapists, and an SLP-in-training should have already been made aware of its existence by those experienced in the field. I think much of it though is probably aimed at the very young. Unfortunately the controlling factors are mostly social, and especially with males, once the teen years are reached, the mold is set unless the individual is already very self-motivated. One has to look at the person's social environment, the severity of the deficit ("I always have an aide who understands me") and at the nature of his support group ("I can already communicate with everyone who is important to me") and his own personal goals.

It seems you've asked for a solution to a very complex problem but haven't defined the problem set enough to suggest a pat solution (of which there are none anyway - each case is different enough from any other that there are few to no general solutions).

Re:Improving Speech May Not be the Answer (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947198)

Mod up. This guy gets it.

Look at the benefits ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29946920)

A number of clients are guys who enjoy playing computer games, and for a variety of reasons some have no incentive to try and improve their speech. The issue is it can obviously inhibit options for jobs/other aspects of life etc.

They've learned it's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're a fool, rather than speak and prove it.

Also, if they have no incentive, why are they clients? They must have SOMETHING that's motivating them.

Re:Look at the benefits ... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947054)

My guess is the "clients" are really students.

but....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29947316)

why non-talk-able is a problem?
all computer guys can communicate without using the mouth......

and else......u don't know how to use a computer.......

so?........just like classifying mental patients?.........

actually many "problems" are defined by plain humans.......
but not the nature of this universe.......

if.....the society really really evolves into mouth-useless one....
maybe the days to "shut" the mouth will come.....

Re:but....... (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948028)

You still have to speak in person with people in public when you go to work, run errands, or go out to do something fun. Some jobs require that you can speak well, like being a salesman or a politician. Your personal relationships with your friends and especially your family will require you to talk with them, even if just to say "I love you." Most people don't know sign language and writing everything on a notepad for someone to read is awkward and more time-consuming.

Go outside once in awhile. Seek professional help.

Imagine Learning English (1)

KingDork2K3 (455980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29947638)

I teach ESL at a K-5 elementary school. My school just started using Imagine Learning English - www.imaginelearning.com - which is really impressive and useful, though expensive. The program has
many activities which show videos of mouths making different sounds. Be aware though that the program does not allow you to designate the activities a student works on - it gives an hourlong assessment on first use, and then works on areas where the student is deficient. If you login as a teacher, you can do any activity, BUT it doesn't track your progress then...
Still, the program is awesome and anyone interested in Computer Assisted Language Learning should check it out.

frqist pSot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29947684)

quarreled on being GAY NIGGERS. it. Do not share of the founders of GAY NIIGERS from ME! It's official halt. Even Emacs

Difficult functionality, research is catching up (1)

hepaminondas (841501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948238)

Correcting a human's articulations is a really tough task for a machine.
Interesting research on the topic has already been made, and the most interesting that I've seen lately is coming from KTH, in Sweden.

ARTUR - the ARticulation TUtoR
http://www.speech.kth.se/multimodal/ARTUR/ [speech.kth.se]

I guess you could ask them about the availabitilty of their software, but you would need a lot of work to customize it for each of the participants.
Or they could maybe give you an alternative....

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?