Sousa (2017)

June 1, 2018


(also known as Expert Opinion)

NOTE:  A summary of the intervention can be found by scrolling about one-half of the way down this page.


ASD =  autism spectrum disorder

C =  clinician

NA = not applicable

P =  patient or participant

pmh =  Patricia Hargrove, blog developer

SLP = speech-language pathologist 

Source:  Sousa, M. S. S. (2017).  Prosodic exercises for children with ASD via virtual therapy. Thesis in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Técnico Lisboa (Portugal).  Retrieved from Semantic Scholar ( 

Reviewer(s):  pmh

Date:  May 31.2018 

Overall Assigned Grade for Evidence (because there are no supporting data, the highest grade will be F, ):  The grade of F should not be interpreted as an evaluation of the intervention described in this paper or the quality of the paper itself. It merely reflects the quality of the support for the intervention. Because there were no data, the grade is F.

Level of Evidence:  F = Expert Opinion, no supporting evidence for the effectiveness of the intervention although the author may provide secondary evidence supporting components of the intervention.

Take Away:  The author detailed the strategies for developing a mobile phone-based prosodic intervention for young Portuguese speaking children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD.) The author described methods for assessing the quality of the auditory stimuli used in the treatment and for evaluating acoustically imitations produced during the intervention by the children with ASD. The author consulted the existing literature as well as “therapists”  to identify important learning strategies and targets. Although this mobile-phone prosodic intervention was not administered, it does have potential as a model for future development.

  1. Was there a review of the literature supporting components of the intervention?Yes
  • Narrative Review


  1. Were the specific procedures/components of the intervention tied to the reviewed literature? Yes


  1. Was the intervention based on clinically sound clinical procedures? Yes


  1. Did the author(s) provide a rationale for components of the intervention? Yes


  1. Description of outcome measures:

–  Are outcome measures suggested?  Yes

  • Outcome #1: Discrimination of same and different using visual stimuli


  • Outcome #2: Discrimination of nonspeech auditory stimuli (affirmation versus question; pleasure versus displeasure) that differ only in intonation


  • Outcome #3: Discrimination of single words as representing pleasure or displeasure affective states


  • Outcome #4: Discriminate low versus high pitches in single words


  • Outcome #5: Identification of the direction of the pitches of 2 syllable productions


  • Outcome #6: Imitate intonation of single words


  1. Was generalization addressed? No


  1. Was maintenance addressed? No




PURPOSE: to develop an Android application for teaching the comprehension and production of intonation

POPULATION:  Autism Spectrum Disorder; children

MODALITY TARGETED: comprehension, production (imitation)


OTHER TARGETS:  concepts of same/different

DOSAGE: not applicable because the program was not administered

ADMINISTRATOR:  mobile phones? (this is virtual therapy)


  • This intervention was developed to fulfill the thesis requirement for the Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Ténico Lisboa (Portugal.)


  • Several tasks were developed for nonreading children to use on Android phones including

–  2 activities to teach the concept of same/different

– one activity to teach the discrimination of single words as being same or different when they could differ only by intonation patterns representing question/affirmation  or pleasure/displeasure.

–  one activity to teach the imitation of single words that differed only by intonation patterns representing question/affirmation  or pleasure/displeasure.

– one activity to teach the identification of pleasure/displeasure affective states of single words.

– one activity to teach the identification of high versus low pitches on auditory stimuli (initially nonspeech sounds, moving to speech sounds)

– one activity to teach the identification of sequences of pitches produced on sounds (e.g., high-high, low-low, high-low, etc.)