Navigation Links
Children with autism may learn from 'virtual peers'
Date:2/29/2008

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Using virtual peers -- animated life-sized children that simulate the behaviors and conversation of typically developing children -- Northwestern University researchers are developing interventions designed to prepare children with autism for interactions with real-life children.

Justine Cassell, professor of communication studies and electrical engineering and computer science, recently presented a preliminary study on the work at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Children with high-functioning autism may be able to give you a lecture on a topic of great interest to them but they cant carry on a contingent -- or two-way -- conversation, said Cassell, director of Northwesterns Center for Technology and Social Behavior.

Cassell and researcher Andrea Tartaro collected data from six children with high-functioning autism aged 7 to 11 as they engaged in play during an hour-long session with a real-life child, and with a virtual peer named Sam.

In an analysis of those interactions, they found that children with autism produced more and more contingent sentences when they spoke with the virtual peer, while their sentences did not become increasingly contingent when they were paired with the real-life children.

Certainly were not saying that virtual peers make the best playmates for children with autism, said Tartaro. The overall goal is for the children with autism to generalize the skills they learn in practice sessions with virtual peers to meaningful interactions with real-world children.

Nor are Northwestern researchers saying they can teach contingency -- appropriate back and forth conversation -- in a single session. But their findings hold promise that virtual peers can be useful in helping children with autism develop communication and social skills.

And virtual peers have some distinct advantages over real-life children when it comes to practicing social skills. For starters, children with autism often like technology. It interacts to us, said one child with autism upon first meeting a virtual peer.

Whats more, said Cassell, virtual peers dont get tired or impatient. We can program their conversation to elicit socially-skilled behavior, and we can vary the way that they look and behave so children with autism are exposed to different kinds of behavior.

Cassell and Tartaros study is part of larger efforts taking place in the Articulab, the Northwestern University laboratory where Cassell and colleagues explore how people communicate with and through technology.

In the Articulab, Cassell, who was trained as a psychologist and linguist, and Tartaro are teaming up with psychologist Miri Arie to develop assessment and intervention procedures that they hope will give them a better understanding of peer behaviors of children with autism.

A major challenge for children with autism is learning the rules of social behavior that typically developing children seem to learn intuitively.

Although childrens play appears spontaneous and wild, it follows certain basic social rules, said Arie. We hope virtual peers like Sam will allow children with autism to practice the rules behind joining a game, holding a conversation and maintaining social interaction. Then they can apply their newly acquired skills to real-life situations.


'/>"/>

Contact: Wendy Leopold
w-leopold@northwestern.edu
847-491-4890
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Children of depressed moms do better when dad is involved, SLU researcher finds
2. High pollution linked to poor lung function growth in children in Mexico City
3. NYC-area 1st: Morgan Stanley Childrens Hospital performs transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement
4. Obese Children Miss More School Days
5. Ultra-Runner to Run 63 Marathons in 63 Days for Children with Incurable Disease
6. Psoriasis Cure Now offers Back to School Resources for Parents of Children with Psoriasis
7. Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
8. Majority of 2.4 Million U.S. Children With ADHD Not Diagnosed or Consistently Treated, According to New Gold Standard Study by Cincinnati Childrens Researchers
9. Practice-based intervention has sustained benefits for children and families
10. 1.5 million children could be saved
11. Annual flu shot cuts need for doctors visits, hospitalization among children
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Children with autism may learn from 'virtual peers'
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... 13, 2016 , ... Christie Medical Holdings, Inc. presented the ... VeinViewer® Vision vein finder for the nursing school simulation lab. This ... draw blood, combining technology with traditional technique. , “VeinViewer is a wonderful new ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... In the early or “honeymoon” stage of a ... go out of their way to be romantic, and may exaggerate a strength or ... any online dating profile. , A recent study from Queendom.com , however, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Vinci-assisted hernia surgeries are beginning to account for a significant portion of hernia repairs ... Shirin Towfigh of the Beverly Hills Hernia Center notes that this trend has not ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... The law firm of Morrow, Morrow, Ryan & Bassett ... of these scholarships is to encourage applicants to pursue a degree in their field ... two parishes. , “We have available jobs in St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... devoted exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through ... over 250 members of South Florida’s philanthropic community at its 10th anniversary Fashion ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARLZ ) ... will ring the Nasdaq Closing Bell at the Nasdaq ... at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 16, ... Adrian Adams , will perform the honorary bell ... p.m. ET.  A live webcast will be available at: ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Maharashtra, February 12, 2016 ... research report titled Chronic Inflammation Global Clinical Trials ... snapshot of the global clinical trials landscape along ... trials by Region, Country (G7 & E7), Trial ... status and reviews top companies involved and enlists ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Laboratory glassware and plasticware include ... may range from microscope slides to large storage boxes ... borosilicate glass because of its low weight and resistance ... started gaining popularity over the past decade when it ... with plastic in several applications due to its resistance ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: