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Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
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Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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The overall purpose of our third study was to determine if a computer-based social skills intervention for children with autism or Asperger Syndrome is effective in improving specific social …

The overall purpose of our third study was to determine if a computer-based social skills intervention for children with autism or Asperger Syndrome is effective in improving specific social skills.

This study was published in a peer reviewed journal in February 2011

http://www.springerlink.com/content/k1244308044ml647/

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  • Simon Baron-Cohen’s talented team just announced results from a 20 student study of Transporter’s, a neat DVD aimed at teaching kids emotions.

    The good news is that the autistic children were able to match the game performance of neurotypical students after just a few weeks. Unfortunately, as with the earlier 6 student study of transporters, and with all other studies I’ve seen except for FaceSay, there was no measured benefit to everyday life, where it counts.

    As Baron-Cohen cautions in the press release...
    ’...while autistic children might be able to recognize emotions better after watching the DVD, that would not necessarily change their behavior at home or on the playground.’

    Unlike this FaceSay study , now published in a peer reviewed journal,

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/k1244308044ml647/

    where parents reported improved behavior at home on a standard assesment (see slide 12), and blinded grad students measured improved behavior with peers on the playground - increased eye contact, more initiation of social interactions, and fewer negative behaviors (see slide 13), this latest Transporters study showed improved performance only with animated characters in the game:

    'Close generalisation of skills - children were asked to match animated familiar Transporters faces to situations they had not seen before. Distant generalisation to real [animated] human faces - children were asked to match animated unfamiliar faces to unfamiliar situations.'
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  • These were blinded ratings by UAB grad students observing the kids during their normal school day in the classroom. This the best and only (as far as I know) demonstration of social skills generalization in similar products. Studies for 'Let's Face It', 'Mind Reading', 'Teach Town' and even the new 'Transporters', for example, end with 'Further study is needed for generalization', 'Generalization to Real Life?', or 'Generalization was not shown'.

    Given this background, and the challenge of generalization, the UAB researchers did not expect to see any improvement at home or at school (see quote in LRP publications Aug 2007) and have cautioned that these results are almost too good to be true. A new study is gearing up to try to replicate the results from this study as well as to more directly measure whether or not playing FaceSay helps the kids know where to look on the face for clues. They say it will be a big deal if the results are positive.

    Casey

    Casey Wimsatt
    Owner/Inventor
    Symbionica, LLC
    www.FaceSay.com
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  • 1. Demonstration and Evaluation of Avatar Assistant: Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Fred Biasini, Ph.D. Maria Hopkins, Ph.D.
  • 2. Study: Demonstration and Evaluation of Avatar Assistant: Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • The overall purpose of our third study was to determine if a computer-based social skills intervention for children with autism or Asperger Syndrome is effective in improving specific social skills.
  • 3. Specific Aims
    • The study investigated the effects of an avatar assistant on children with ASD’s emotional cognition.
    • The study examined the social skills effects of the intervention.
  • 4. Measures
    • Social Skills Rating System
    • Social Skills Observation
    • Emotional Cognition
    • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT)
    • Childhood Autism Rating Scale
    • Benton Test of Facial Recognition
  • 5. Benton example Which 3 faces match the top one? (Correct answer 2, 5, and 6)
  • 6. Participants
    • Children with autism (n=25) or Asperger Syndrome (n=24)
      • Diagnosis based on DSM-IV criteria
      • Age range 6-15 ( M = 10.17)
      • 44 boys; 5 girls
      • Mitchell’s Place, Glenwood, Shelby County schools
  • 7. Intervention and Control
    • FaceSay and Tux Paint
      • 12 sessions (2 per week for 30 minutes)
      • One child per computer
      • 1-2 research assistants
      • Touch screens
      • Attendance rates >83% (10 sessions)
      • Rewards
  • 8. Participant Demographics 34.01 (5.26) 91.88 (19.54) 10.05 (2.30) Training (n=13) 35.03 (5.22) 93.04 (25.47) 9.85 (2.87) Control (n=11) Asperger Syndrome 54.79 (16.41) 55.09 (20.91) IQ 36.92 (5.79) 36.64 (3.93) CARS 10.57 (3.20) 10.31 (3.31) Age Control (n=14) Training (n=11) Variable Autism Group
  • 9. Results 1: Emotion Recognition p < 0.05 p < 0.05 Autism: Total emotional skills, F (1, 21) = 6.40, p < 0.05 Asperger: Total emotional skills, F (1, 20) = 23.04, p < 0.001
  • 10. Results 1: cont.
    • Post hoc analysis
      • R 2 = 0.873, F (3, 21) = 55.96, p < 0.001
      • Higher KBIT scores and pre-test Emotion Composite scores were related to higher post-test Emotion Composite scores.
  • 11. Results 2: Facial Recognition p < 0.05 p > 0.05 Autism: Benton-Short form F (1, 21) = 0.69, p > 0.05 Asperger: Benton-Short form F (1, 20) = 8.29, p < 0.01
  • 12. Results 3: Parent Reported Social Skills p < 0.05 p = 0.05 Autism: SSRS, F (1, 21) = 10.36, p < 0.05 Asperger: SSRS, F (1, 20) = 4.36, p = 0.05
  • 13. Results 4: Observed Social Skills p < 0.05 p < 0.05 Autism: F (1, 21) = 5.05, p < 0.05 Asperger: F (1, 20) = 13.61, p < 0.001 Note: Lower Scores are Better
  • 14. Results 4: cont.
    • Post hoc analysis
      • R 2 = 0.209, F (3, 21) = 3.12, p < 0.05
      • Higher CARS scores (e.g. more autism symptoms) were related to higher post-test Social Skills Observation scores (e.g. more inappropriate social interactions).
  • 15. Acknowledgements
    • Casey Wimsatt, Symbionica LLC www.FaceSay.com
    • Autism Lab
    • Dr. Franklin R. Amthor

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