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Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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.

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

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

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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Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  1. 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. 2. Study: Demonstration and Evaluation of Avatar Assistant: Encouraging Social Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Specific Aims <ul><li>The study investigated the effects of an avatar assistant on children with ASD’s emotional cognition. </li></ul><ul><li>The study examined the social skills effects of the intervention. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Measures <ul><li>Social Skills Rating System </li></ul><ul><li>Social Skills Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional Cognition </li></ul><ul><li>Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT) </li></ul><ul><li>Childhood Autism Rating Scale </li></ul><ul><li>Benton Test of Facial Recognition </li></ul>
  5. 5. Benton example Which 3 faces match the top one? (Correct answer 2, 5, and 6)
  6. 6. Participants <ul><li>Children with autism (n=25) or Asperger Syndrome (n=24) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diagnosis based on DSM-IV criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age range 6-15 ( M = 10.17) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>44 boys; 5 girls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mitchell’s Place, Glenwood, Shelby County schools </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Intervention and Control <ul><li>FaceSay and Tux Paint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>12 sessions (2 per week for 30 minutes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One child per computer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1-2 research assistants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Touch screens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attendance rates >83% (10 sessions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rewards </li></ul></ul>
  8. 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. 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. 10. Results 1: cont. <ul><li>Post hoc analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R 2 = 0.873, F (3, 21) = 55.96, p < 0.001 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher KBIT scores and pre-test Emotion Composite scores were related to higher post-test Emotion Composite scores. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 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. 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. 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. 14. Results 4: cont. <ul><li>Post hoc analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R 2 = 0.209, F (3, 21) = 3.12, p < 0.05 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher CARS scores (e.g. more autism symptoms) were related to higher post-test Social Skills Observation scores (e.g. more inappropriate social interactions). </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Acknowledgements <ul><li>Casey Wimsatt, Symbionica LLC www.FaceSay.com </li></ul><ul><li>Autism Lab </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Franklin R. Amthor </li></ul>

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