A new workshop at Stella Maris, for children with language difficulties

A new acoustic-vocal laboratory was recently inaugurated at the IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris in Calambrone (Pisa), thanks to a contribution from Rotary Club Pisa, a completely soundproofed room equipped with advanced audiovisual equipment, where possible to perform the study of acoustic perception and verbal production in children with speech disorders due to oromotor pathologies such as dysarthria and verbal dyspraxia

Participants in the inauguration of LIPSILAB, the new acoustic-vocal laboratory for children with language difficulties by the IRCCS Sella Maris Foundation in Calambrone (Pisa)

A new space to hear and speak, one acoustic-vocal workshop for children with language difficulties: thanks to the service of Rotary Club Pisain the “research building” ofIRCCS Stella Maris Foundation of Calambrone, near the Tuscan town, it was possible to furnish a fully soundproofed room equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, where it is possible to study of acoustic perceptionthanks to the collaboration between the group of otolaryngologists and audiologists of Stefano Berrettini of the University of Pisa, as well as of verbal production in children with speech disorders, due to oromotor pathologies of speech, such as dysarthria And verbal dyspraxia. The latter is a disorder that has only recently been recognized by the medical specialty literature, also thanks to the research conducted on IRCCS Stella Maris. These are problems that affect many children, and the data obtained in the new laboratory will allow them to better characterize their difficulties and adapt their therapy.

The new room is called LIPSILAB – acronym for Laboratory of Neuro-linguistics and Developmental Neuropsychology – and the recent inauguration was attended by Giuseppe BentivoglioPresident of the Rotary Club of Pisa, together with the Councilor Giuseppe Turchetti by Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, representing the club that supported this important service. With them Roberto CutajarDirector General of the Stella Maris Foundation, Giovanni CioniScientific Director of e Anna Chilosico-head of LIPSILAB with the entire laboratory team.

“THAT motor disorders of verbal production – explains Anna Chilosi – they affect the ability to program and / or perform the phonatory movements which underlie language and are almost constantly associated with an important difficulty in linguistic acquisition with consequent great importance for the child’s socio-communicative skills. In these cases, the basic analysis, as well as of the production skills, is also of perceptive and verbal comprehension skills, to exclude any associated deficits. For this reason, it is important to have a soundproof audiovisual space where it is possible to perform both the analysis of the receptive skills and the video recording of the child’s verbal production, in order to proceed with a subsequent examination of the oral-oral movements. and the language level that the child possesses. The voice recorded using professional microphones will be analyzed with specific softwareto process the data obtained that form the basis of rehabilitate phono-articulatory changes through specific play activities utilizing visual and auditory feedback related to the acoustic parameters of the voice ».

“When examining the possible services to be programmed during the year of my presidency of the Executive Council of the Rotary Club of Pisa – he declares Giuseppe Bentivoglio – the first thought was for Stella Maris, an institution that we have always known and that has always managed programs and activities that perfectly comply with the themes and assistance that Rotary can support for the benefit of people, and in particular children who suffering or facing problems and disorders at an age where we humanly all want to be as happy as possible. The idea was then consolidated in a pleasant meeting with Giovanni Cioni and Anna Chilosi, with whom the idea of ​​contributing to the realization of a project was immediately considered interesting and stimulating, to adapt within the Stella Maris complex to a specific environment and equip it with the equipment needed to treat a pathology, quite unknown to most people, such as verbal dyspraxia that affects many more children than you can imagine. The project and the related financial commitment were approved by the Rotary Pisa Council, and it has become a reality that we, together with Giuseppe Turchetti, Head of the Rotary Pisa Project Commission, have been able to appreciate its full functionality and use. also purely practical. A special thank you therefore goes to Giovanni Cioni and Anna Chilosi for what they do, for the theme they proposed to us, and for how they in Stella Maris made the project operational. Last but not least, for the friendship with which all this has been possible ‘.

Two more words about speech disorders the strike about 15% of preschool children and I’m one transverse symptomthat is, they are present in almost all neuropsychiatric disorders in developmental age, from autism to cerebral palsy, delays in cognitive development, specific language disorders, and hearing loss.
An accurate analysis of these children’s language and communication is essential for proper rehabilitation therapy. IRCCS Stella Maris Foundation in Calambrone operates Laboratory of Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics which for many years has treated dozens of children each year coming from the Pisan territory, from Tuscany and also from the rest of Italy, as well as promoting research into this type of disorder. (SB)

For further information and further information: Roberta Rezoalli (r.rezoalli@gmail.com).

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