Posted at November 20, 2013 | By: | Categories: News Reports and Commentaries

NIH Funds Expansion of Research on iPad-Assisted Language Development

Photo courtesy of Autism Speaks

Photo courtesy of Autism Speaks

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a major grant to conduct a clinical trial on iPad Assisted Language Development. An Autism Speaks funded study reported encouraging findings on the effectiveness of using speech generating devices to encourage speaking in minimally verbal children ages 5 to 8 with autism. The findings have created excited interest partly because they counter the belief that if children do not acquire language by age 5, they probably never will.

Recruitment is currently underway to enroll 192 children in the 5-year, multisite trial. The NIH grant comes through its Autism Centers of Excellence program, and the researchers include Ann Kaiser of Vanderbilt University, Connie Kasari of UCLA, Cathy Lord of Cornell Weill Medical School and Tris Smith of the University of Rochester.

The expanded NIH study will continue through the spring of 2017.