***Content of this app is in SPANISH ONLY
VAST-Autism (Spanish) provides unprecedented support for spoken language, combining evidence-based best practices and technology to deliver remarkable results.
VAST-Autism is a groundbreaking tool that provides state-of-the-art therapy to students with autism and motor speech programming disorders such as apraxia. VAST-Autism combines the highly effective concept of video modeling with written words and auditory cues to help individuals acquire relevant words, phrases and sentences so that they can speak for themselves. For children and individuals with strong visual skills, this can be a key to developing speech.
Ongoing research and initial pilot studies indicate that students are highly interested in VAST videos, and will almost immediately attempt lip movements or touch their mouths in response to the models. After a few short weeks, many students who were essentially nonverbal began word approximations and word attempts more readily. Perhaps, the best and most unexpected therapeutic improvements have been in the students’ ability to generalize skills. Individuals may begin attending to the speaker’s oral motor movements during daily communication and continue learning speech in a traditional, naturalistic manner.
The content for this App was developed by Crystal Taveras and Mayra Roldan.
Crystal Taveras holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education and has worked with students with Autism. Crystal is also fluent in Spanish and has served as an interpreter/translator in various educational positions. Mayra Roldan holds a Master's Degree in speech and language pathology and has worked with the bilingual population in the area of language development.
VAST-Autism (Spanish) is organized in a six-level hierarchy, in progressive order:
1. Repetition of syllables
3. Articles and More
Videos are organized into a hierarchy beginning with syllables and ending with sentences. Each video is intentionally brief to keep the user’s attention and to focus on each of the levels. Each word, phrase, and sentence is concrete and has meaning that can be generalized and practiced throughout the day.
The mirror feature promotes oral motor sequencing and self-monitoring.
Using a mirror while practicing speech sounds provides crucial visual feedback to help individuals improve their muscle coordination and sequencing for speech.
Virtually all research has found that visual input is the most important source of feedback for individuals with developmental apraxia of speech. This means that individuals should focus on how to produce the target sounds/words from a model and then observe and monitor their own attempts by using a mirror.
For devices without a front-facing camera, the mirror will default to a black screen (the color may be adjusted to suit the environment). Access options for the mirror can be customized in the application settings.