Validation of Language Environment Analysis (LENA) Systems in Arabic-Speaking Individuals

Friday, May 18, 2012
Sheraton Hall (Sheraton Centre Toronto)
9:00 AM
M. Aldosari1, A. Almuslamani1, F. Wilson2 and J. Gilkerson3, (1)Department of Neurosciences, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, (2)Speech Pathology, KFSH&RC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, (3)LENA Foundation, Boulder, CO

Language ENvironment Analysis (LENA) system is a tool that parents, pediatricians, speech language pathologists and researchers use to obtain information about a child’s language environment and language development.  It is a digital language processor that children wear in the pocket of custom-made clothing. The audio file is transferred to a computer where the LENA System software automatically analyses it, providing an estimate of the child’s expressive language using the Automatic Vocalization Assessment (AVA).


The main objectives of the current study are to validate the use of LENA for both typically developing children as well as children with language delay or disabilities, including ASD and to provide pilot study data in its utility in aiding the diagnosis of language delay and in accelerating language development for the Saudi Autistic children. The study will also help in making this technology available for researchers and clinicians in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.


The current English version of LENA Pro would be used to gather three “baseline” recordings of 60 children in their home environment. The children would be selected to have an age span of 6 months to 3 years of age, with 40 being typically developing children with no known language delay and 20 children with or at risk of ASD. The recordings will be processed using the LENA software to create the output statistics including word counts, conversational turns, and child vocalizations.  A portion of the recordings will be listened to and transcribed by Saudi researchers and statistical information will be generated including counts of words, conversational turns, and child vocalizations which will then be checked against the counts generated from the LENA software to determine its accuracy.

Results: We are presenting the preliminary results which are very encouraging as LENA seems to be a valid system in Arabic language, opening the doors for many other studies utilizing the unique characteristics of LENA for early diagnosis and in guiding and evaluating interventional programs.


The current study is the first validation and experimentation study of the Language ENvironment Analysis  (LENA) Systems in the Arabic language. This study is expected to pave the way toward more applications of this technology to aid the evaluation, characterization and treatment of a wide spectrum of language disorders, such as those associated with Autism

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