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NJIT and WebTeam to develop tactile-friendly learning devices for children with autism
Date:3/20/2014

New Jersey Institute of Technology and WebTeam Corporation, a New Jersey-based IT company, have signed an agreement to collaboratively design and develop a customizable learning device that will help children with autism spectrum disorder master a range of skills-building lessons contained in the device's embedded educational software.

For the initial project, an NJIT team, including students, will work with WebTeam to develop a tactile-friendly 3D device with embedded sensors to interface with the company's iLearNNEarn2 program, which is a part of the ColorsKit package for autism management and a gaming model that uses touchscreen kiosks and mobile devices to deliver evidence-based learning sessions.

The sensor-embedded device would prompt the child through the sessions, monitor responsiveness, assess cognition, and adapt future learning sessions accordingly. The device would record the related data, allowing others involved in the child's intervention to share and review it. The device's outer form would vary; for young children, for example, it might be a toy with which they are familiar and include personalized images such as pictures of their rooms. The educational sessions are based on a curriculum developed by Eden Autism Services, a New Jersey-based not-for-profit organization that provides education and training to people with autism, as well as their families, teachers, and caregivers.

"Our goal is to identify the right technology in the marketplace, customize it for this population, and package it. We want to provide an educational tool that parents with little teaching experience can use, bringing them together on the same platform with teachers and therapists," said Nish Parikh, chief executive officer of Web Team, who added, "The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and to reduce stress on them and their families. We want to make learning both smart and fun."

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Contact: Tracey Regan
201-388-0232
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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