At Integrated Treatment Services we pride ourselves on delivering innovative and cutting edge treatments. Our service incorporates Technology in all aspects of our business, from our administrative processes to therapy apps and devices. We are pleased to announce that we are now offering Eye Tracking and Eye Gaze Assessments.
What is Eye Tracking?
Eye tracking is the technique used to record and measure ones eye movements. It tracks the eye movements, so that we may identify what a person is looking at. This technique has previously been used for marketing purposes but has not yet become a common assessment tool within the world of Speech and Language Therapy.
However, this important technique offers us an objective way to see where on a screen a person is looking, and thus enables us to assess more readily and accurately;
- Visual Neglect
- Language Comprehension
- Literacy skills
This technique is more more advanced and accurate than the manual eye tracking Speech and Language Therapists have used for decades; using the low tech E-Tran Frame/Board.
E-Tran Frame [Image taken from Communication Matters]
This innovative technology picks up subtle eye movements and allows us to interpret what the person is looking at much more readily than watching their eye movements.
More information about Eye Tracking can be found online at Tobii Dynavox
What is Eye Gaze?
Eye Gaze is a high tech form of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). An Eye gaze system provides the user with a method of communication. The user will look at a required item/photo/symbol on their screen and select this by holding their gaze for a pre set period of time.
There are many eye gaze systems on the market and a number of companies provide assessments and trials of their equipment. These systems often have built in language software which are most commonly used with those with:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Motor Neurone Disease
- Those with physical difficulties
- Syndromes including Rett Syndrome
- Autistic Spectrum Conditions
Eye gaze systems often cost several thousand pounds and it is imperative that the system is tested, and that users seek the advice of AAC Specialists and/or Speech and Language Therapists.
Why choose an eye tracking assessment?
Eye Tracking now offers us the ability to unlock a client’s potential and gives us a clearer understanding of their comprehension and cognition.
Previously clients with non verbal language skills, such as those with severe aphasia, locked in syndrome and Autism have been challenging to assess and there ability to learn and communicate is often underestimated due to their inability to express themselves.
Eye tracking helps with this as it shows what the client is looking at and considering and helps us to accurately score their understanding of language. It may also demonstrate that the use of eye tracking is successful, and therefore they may be able to advance to communicating through an eye gaze system.
What happens during an assessment?
Step One – Calibration
Each user needs to be taken through a calibration process; this basically ensures that the eye tracker is accurately picking up the user’s eyes and will accurate calculate the gaze data.
During the calibration the user is asked to look at specific points on the screen, also known as calibration dots. During this period several images of the eyes are collected and analysed. Once the user has completed a successful calibration, then they can start the eye gaze assessment.
Step Two – Language Comprehension Assessment
Step Two is when the language assessment and/or cognition assessment takes place. The therapist will take the user through a range of tasks devised to inform the therapist about the user’s level of understanding and cognition. Each task chosen will be different, based upon the needs of the client, their diagnosis and level of impairment.
The aim of step two will to have a clearer understanding of what the user is able to identify, comprehend and relate to.
Step Three – Literacy
Eye gaze tracking enables us to assess various aspects of literacy; including the ability to read left to right, to identify key words (when provided with the auditory stimulus), to relate key words to a picture (comprehension), to complete a sentence with the correct word, and to match pictures to the written word.
What happens after an eye tracking assessment?
An eye tracking assessment can help:
- Confirm/disprove a diagnosis (such as Severe Aphasia)
- Highlight the areas of impairment
- Identify users who may benefit from Eye Gaze Systems
- Inform the therapist of a client’s true communication skills to inform a therapy plan
We have provided a number of assessments to clients with a number of conditions including:
- Severe Global Aphasia
- Down Syndrome
Book your assessment
If you are interested in booking an eye tracking assessment please call us on 0845 838 2921 or complete our enquiry form.