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Reading: A Multifaceted Device for Discreetly Acquiring Natural Behaviors of Children with Autism

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A Multifaceted Device for Discreetly Acquiring Natural Behaviors of Children with Autism

Authors:

James McMahon ,

Stevens Institute of Technology, US
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Walter Goodwin,

Stevens Institute of Technology, US
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Jay Thakore,

Stevens Institute of Technology, US
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Abdelaziz N'goan,

Stevens Institute of Technology, US
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Danial Shahmirzadi

Stevens Institute of Technology, US
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Abstract

Autism is a multifaceted neurological disorder that affects the four fundamental areas of sensory processing, communication mechanisms, social interaction skills, and whole child/self-esteem. The underlying mechanisms and symptoms of the disorder have been shown to largely vary from patient to patient, and therefore, a durable, effective therapy is best achieved through multifaceted, multidisciplinary approaches that allow a direct assessment of each individual’s behavior, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The aim of this project was to simulate, design, manufacture, and assess a device that can help cultivate sensory, social, communication, and motor skills in autistic children while being able to extract data of the child’s behavior that could be used by the therapist. Critical components of the toy involve auditory and visual stimulation, as well as interactive mechanisms to promote development. The most important features of the toy are hidden cameras that discreetly monitor the child’s reactions in order to provide analytical feedback mechanisms, allowing parents, caregivers, or therapists to monitor and evaluate the child’s learning and therapy. The performance of the toy was examined on 17 children with autism at two specialized centers for child with developmental disorders. The results showed that the device was found satisfactory by the majority of children as assessed by their willingness to spend time accomplishing the tasks on the device, as well as by captured videos of their natural reactions throughout. Furthermore, improved performance was observed on the same population of children who were tested multiple times, indicating the potential use of the toy for therapeutic and learning purposes.

Faculty Sponsor: Danial Shahmirzadi

How to Cite: McMahon, J., Goodwin, W., Thakore, J., N'goan, A. and Shahmirzadi, D., 2015. A Multifaceted Device for Discreetly Acquiring Natural Behaviors of Children with Autism. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 7(1), p.4. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2168-0620.1048
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Published on 10 Feb 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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