Draft Programme Session: Next Generation Interactive technologies for autism (STS48)

December 6, 2016

Session Type: Lecture (sequence of presentations with questions and answers)

Next Generation Interactive technologies for autism

The reported rates of Autism the world over are on the rise. In the US alone in the last two decades, these have increased from 1 in 500 children to 1 in 68. In 2006, it was estimated that in the UK, the annual economic cost of care for Autism Spectrum Disorders was over 30 Billion Euros, the bulk of which was attributable to the care needs of adults with Autism. Although a new Europe wide study is currently underway, anecdotal evidence suggests that these figures have risen substantially in the last decade. Early intervention and support is key to improving independence and self-reliance in later years to help reduce some of these care needs and technology can play a significant role in this regard. This session will showcase emerging themes in the innovative use of technology to help address many of the challenges individuals with Autism face.

Titles currently include:

  1. Robotics with Autism & Learning DisabilitiesThe use of social robots to support learning for children with Autism has been a growing area of research and development in recent years, with at least half a dozen major research projects around the Globe exploring the potential of this technology.
  2. Applications for Wearable Technologies for Autism & Learning Disability: Wearable computers, including head up displays (e.g. Google Glass), fitness bands (e.g. fitbit) etc have become mainstream in the last few years. These devices are constantly connected and can measure a range of physiological and behavioral indicators, opening up a world of applications for Autism and LD.
  3. Eye-Tracking in Autism: Diagnosis to Intervention: Diagnosis of Autism has traditionally been very much observation based. With the use of eye tracking, new methods are emerging to be able to diagnose Autism at stages of development that could support far earlier intervention.
  4. Augmented and Virtual Worlds/Virtual Technologies: Augmented and Virtual reality is fast becoming more and more widespread and low cost and offers tremendous potential to support individuals both in terms of learning as well as transition to greater independence.
  5. Mobile applications to support social integration/communication: Although the use of AAC on mainstream mobile platforms has been explored for many years, a number of applications are emerging that can help individuals with Autism become more independent by addressing issues relating to for example, Anxiety management.


Contact: Aejaz Zahid, Massachusetts institute of technology (MIT) and Bryan Boyle, Trinity College, The University of Dublin
Email: Aejaz@alum.mit.edu and Bryboyle@gmail.com



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