UNT Launches a New Autism Research Project

Remote-microphone technology will be used to help children with autism to tune out background noise.


Audiologists are taking a new approach to helping children with autism tune out all the background noise.

The University of North Texas in Denton received a $378,885 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that will pay for up to 60 autistic students ages 9-21 to participate in a research program. 

“Listening exercises and remote-microphone technology will be used to improve their listening and conversational skills and to help with outside interference or distractions,” said Erin Schafer, associate professor in UNT’s Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

The program lasts 12 weeks and helps encourage the children to have conversations and interact with peers and adults, according to researchers. Participants will undergo testing before and after the program to track progress. 

“Our goal is to use these various tests to identify changes in listening skills that our training can bring about in the students,” Schafer said. 

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