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      Teaching severely autistic children to recognise emotions: Finding a methodology

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      Proceedings of HCI 2007 The 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference University of Lancaster, UK (HCI)

      British HCI Group Annual Conference

      3 - 7 September 2007

      Autism, Emotions, Avatars, Social Networking

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          This paper presents part of our wider research project concerning the design, development and evaluation of computer systems for children with autism. Research currently being carried out concerns how children with autism recognise human facial expressions of emotion and how the use of computer-based animated characters might help them in this recognition. The context for the research is a primary school unit of children with severe autism and moderate to severe learning difficulties. We present results of a preliminary study designed to establish a baseline for the abilities of each child, and describe the methodology considerations that arose during and after the study. The merit of participant observers is discussed, and links to action research are pointed out.

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          Most cited references 4

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          Steps in theory-of-mind development for children with deafness or autism.

          Prior research demonstrates that understanding theory of mind (ToM) is seriously and similarly delayed in late-signing deaf children and children with autism. Are these children simply delayed in timing relative to typical children, or do they demonstrate different patterns of development? The current research addressed this question by testing 145 children (ranging from 3 to 13 years) with deafness, autism, or typical development using a ToM scale. Results indicate that all groups followed the same sequence of steps, up to a point, but that children with autism showed an importantly different sequence of understandings (in the later steps of the progression) relative to all other groups.
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            The potential of virtual reality in social skills training for people with autistic spectrum disorders.

            People with autism experience profound and pervasive difficulties in the social domain. Attempts to teach social behaviours tend to adopt either a behavioural or a 'theory of mind' (ToM) approach. The beneficial aspects and limitations of both paradigms are summarized before an examination of how virtual reality technology may offer a way to combine the strengths from both approaches. This is not an exhaustive review of the literature; rather, the papers are chosen as representative of the current understanding within each broad topic. Web of Science ISI, EMBASE and PsycInfo were searched for relevant articles. Behavioural and ToM approaches to social skills training achieve some success in improving specific skills or understanding. However, the failure to generalize learned behaviours to novel environments, and the unwieldy nature of some behavioural methodologies, means that there is a need for a training package that is easy to administer and successful in promoting learning across contexts. Virtual reality technology may be an ideal tool for allowing participants to practise behaviours in role-play situations, whilst also providing a safe environment for rule learning and repetition of tasks. Role-play within virtual environments could promote the mental simulation of social events, potentially allowing a greater insight into minds. Practice of behaviours, both within and across contexts, could also encourage a more flexible approach to social problem solving. Virtual environments offer a new and exciting perspective on social skills training for people with autistic spectrum disorders.
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              Evaluation of a new computer intervention to teach people with autism or Asperger syndrome to recognize and predict emotions in others.

              This randomized controlled trial looked at the effect of a new computer program designed to teach people with autistic spectrum disorders to better recognize and predict emotional responses in others. Two groups of 11 children (age 12-18) with autism or Asperger syndrome at two special schools participated: one group used the computer program for 10 half-hour sessions over 2 weeks. Within-program data showed a significant reduction in errors made from first to last use. Students were assessed pre- and post-intervention using facial expression photographs, cartoons depicting emotion-laden situations, and non-literal stories. Scores were not related to age or verbal ability. The experimental group made gains relative to the control group on all three measures. Gains correlated significantly with the number of times the computer program was used and results suggest positive effects. Further research could assess whether these gains generalized into real life or improved performance on theory of mind measures.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                September 2007
                September 2007
                : 1-4
                Affiliations
                Leeds Metropolitan University

                Headingley Campus

                Leeds LS6 3QS, UK

                +44 113 283 2600
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/HCI2007.79
                © Salima Y Awad Elzouki et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of HCI 2007 The 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference University of Lancaster, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Proceedings of HCI 2007 The 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference University of Lancaster, UK
                HCI
                21
                Lancaster, UK
                3 - 7 September 2007
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                British HCI Group Annual Conference
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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