Videogames to help children with autism disorders
Cognitive Media Technologies research group of the Department of Information
and Communication Technologies (DTIC), Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Barcelona ,
is working on a research line known as ‘full-body
interaction’. In conjunction with a hospital, the group created Pico's
Adventure, a videogame based on full-body interaction that encourages social
communication among participants.
Compared to free-play - playing with toys (push-chairs, dolls, balls, etc.), alone or with a partner, without any guidance or rules - the videogame could elicit a higher number of social conducts. Therefore, this technology could be proposed as a tool to promote social initiation skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
The videogame has also proved to be more effective at reducing repetitive conducts and improve the children's gestural expression.
Videogames could be a suitable tool to foster social behaviour, but future work is needed to obtain further data to support the hypothesis, according to the researchers.