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Motivating Children with Autism to Communicate and Interact Socially

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The attention on design for children with autism should be directed to make the child feel emotionally comfortable within the environment, to value the presence of others, and to develop basic communication and reciprocal interaction skills before embarking in supporting the acquisition of complex linguistic skills. New technological systems support children in working together on specific tasks and promote the acquisition of social interaction skills such as turn‐taking, sharing (e.g., passing the device to a partner) and negotiation (Millen et al., 2011). Recently, the study of ASD has also been corroborated by the emergence of new approaches using computational models and artificial agents (robots or avatars) to study sensorimotor development (Caligiore, Tommasino, Sperati, & Baldassarre, 2014) in ASD. The development of new technologies has also contributed to improve emotion recognition in ASD individuals enhancing their social skills (Pioggia et al., 2005). Interactive products are opening up new learning and playing opportunities for children with autism. A key element of these products is the need to be able to motivate the child to use them. Indeed, the motivational desire to interact is at the core of all communication behaviors (Chevallier, Kohls, Troiani, Brodkin, & Schultz, 2012).
This work presents a project whose main objective is to provide an interactive mechatronic prototype, called “+me”, that facilitates social interaction and supports the development of social skills of children with autism by leveraging highly motivating sensorial feedbacks.

To read the article http://www.neapolisanit.eu/neascience/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/act-ozean.pdf

Özcan B., Sperati V., Caligiore D., Baldassarre G. (2015). Motivating Children with Autism to Communicate and Interact Socially Through the “+me” Wearable Device. Atti del XI Convegno Annuale AISC 2014, 59-65.

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