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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Social Robotics for Enhancing Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Project Goals
Children diagnosed with autism have impairments related to social interaction and communication. Methods for addressing these impairments attempt to engage children in stimulating social activities that facilitate developing basic social behavior such as sharing interests with others, self-initiation of social behaviors, joint attention, and experience-sharing. It has often proved difficult, however, to identify activities that are interesting and engaging for the diverse spectrum of children with autism. The proposed pilot study focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of human-robot interaction (HRI) as an intervention tool for children with autism. The proposed one-year pilot project will evaluate the potential, validity, and impact of using interactive robots as individualized means for augmenting communication and social skill assessment and training of children with autism. The study will evaluate the performance of a robot-assisted DIR/Floortime intervention compared to a standard DIR/Floortime intervention in a multi-session experimental design, in order to collect data for use toward translating HRI technology for use in intervention.
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This work is supported by the Clinical Translational Science Institute.