It's become a truism that many individuals with autism gravitate toward gadgets -even preferring them to people. This has inspired great interest in developing devices - including robots - that can interact with individuals on the autism spectrum.
By Holly Bortfeld This article is not a step-by-step guide to homeschooling your child, but rather an overview of what homeschooling a child with ASD would entail to help you make an informed decision. As a long time homeschooler of 2 kids with ASD - one with Asperger's and one with moderate autism, I wholly recommend homeschooling, when possible and appropriate, but it's not for everyone.
A new study from the University of Southern California (USC) has found that humanoid robots can help children with autism spectrum disorder learn new skills and improve social behaviors. According to researchers, the robots help children learn by imitating behavior and by providing specific prompts or graded cues to learn new behaviors.
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), mechanical and computer engineer Nilanjan Sarkar and psychologist Zachary Warren of Vanderbilt University have developed a learning environment for kids with autism, built around state-of-the-art technologies. Many children with autism have an affinity for technology.
Corbin Chow, five, Kyran McKeown, six, and Libi Cooper, five, play head, shoulders, knees and toes with Nao. PHOTO: Polly Braden Watching this demonstration I notice that some of the children thrust the card to within inches of Nao's face. This is, I am later told, characteristic behaviour of children with autism - to be 'in your face'.
The Barber National Institute in Erie, PA and the University of Notre Dame are collaborating on a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of using a robot in clinical therapy for treatment of children with autism. The study focuses on the development of communication and social skills.
Social robots are simpler to interact with than humans, can repeat games with infinite patience and record the data for further study. That's changing the way autistic children learn new skills, say therapists. One of the emerging applications of social robotics is in providing therapy for children with autism.
At the Duck's Nest preschool in Oakland, Calif., a fluffy blue robot asks a group of toddlers, "I want to be your friend. Will you please be my friend?" Robotics experts are testing this low-cost and affable robot, called Romibo, at schools across the country.