Sustained Vowel Game: A Computer Therapy Game for Children with Dysphonia

Vanessa Lopes, João Magalhães, Sofia Cavaco


Problems in vocal quality are common in 4 to 12-year-old children, which may affect their health as well as their social interactions and development process. The sustained vowel exercise is widely used by speech and language pathologists for the child’s voice recovery and vocal re-education. Nonetheless, despite being an important voice exercise, it can be a monotonous and tedious activity for children. Here, we propose a computer therapy game that uses the sustained vowel exercise to motivate children on doing this exercise often. In addition, the game gives visual feedback on the child’s performance, which helps the child understand how to improve the voice production. The game uses a vowel classification model learned with a support vector machine and Mel frequency cepstral coefficients. A user test with 14 children showed that when using the game, children achieve longer phonation times than without the game. Also, it shows that the visual feedback helps and motivates children on improving their sustained vowel productions.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-3017

Cite as: Lopes, V., Magalhães, J., Cavaco, S. (2019) Sustained Vowel Game: A Computer Therapy Game for Children with Dysphonia. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 26-30, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-3017.


@inproceedings{Lopes2019,
  author={Vanessa Lopes and João Magalhães and Sofia Cavaco},
  title={{Sustained Vowel Game: A Computer Therapy Game for Children with Dysphonia}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={26--30},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-3017},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-3017}
}