Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Augmented play helps children with autism

Date:
February 16, 2012
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
Making play sets more interactive and giving children with autism greater opportunities to control and add content of their own to the game could improve cooperative play with other children as well as giving them greater confidence in understanding how objects interact.

Augmented knights-castle playset.
Credit: Image courtesy of Inderscience

Making play sets more interactive and giving children with autism greater opportunities to control and add content of their own to the game could improve cooperative play with other children as well as giving them greater confidence in understanding how objects interact.

Related Articles


William Farr and Nicola Yuill of the University of Sussex, UK and Steve Hinske of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, explain that children with autism are often affected not only by social difficulties, but also have an impaired understanding of the way objects interact. They have investigated how toys, such as the "Augmented Knight's Castle" (AKC) might be adapted to be more beneficial to those children and perhaps even act as a therapeutic tool.

Writing in the International Journal of Arts and Technology, the team,from the Children and Technology Lab at the University of Sussex explains how they have examined childhood playexplains how they have examined childhood play with the popular Playmobil Knight's Castle play set, which as the name would suggest comprises a toy castle with various obvious components of towers, parapets, a moat and the various model people that can be used in imaginative play to enact various roles within the play set.

The team has thus augmented the play set by adding a wireless networking system and radio frequency identification tags (RFIDs) to the components to add feedback and programmable aspects to the play set. The play set might thus produce sound or movement given certain actions by the child playing with the toys. Their tests with autistic children volunteered to play with the AKC reveal promising results that are allowing the team to conclude that such adapted play sets can improve understanding and interest in the play set itself, but more importantly boost the level of interaction with other children playing with the toys. Indeed, the team noticed more parallel and cooperative play and less solitary play with the fully configurable setup for the AKC. They add that autistic children playing with the configurable AKC were also more inclined to actively play with the Playmobil figures.

Children with autism commonly struggle to understand the world around them, which means control over their own environment presents them with daily challenges, the team says. By offering a configurable play set that incorporates feedback systems that respond to how the children are playing, they hope to open up new avenues to children with autism through an increased sense of control. The AKC could reduce isolation for children with autism by giving them an increased understanding of how to control and engage with objects and by extension other children.

"There is potential for systems like the AKC to be used in a therapeutic way," the team says. They add that the play set could also be used diagnostically by allowing evidence to be compiled to provide a baseline against which a child's position on the autistic spectrum could be aligned and help improve a borderline diagnosis so that a child's ambiguous impairments might be better addressed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. William Farr et al. An augmented toy and social interaction in children with autism. Int. J. Arts and Technology, 2012, 5, 104-125

Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Augmented play helps children with autism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216111229.htm>.
Inderscience. (2012, February 16). Augmented play helps children with autism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216111229.htm
Inderscience. "Augmented play helps children with autism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216111229.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins