Interactive Technologies for Autism

Interactive Technologies for Autism

Julie A. Kientz, Matthew Goodwin, Gillian R. Hayes, Gregory D. Abowd
ISBN: 9781608456406 | PDF ISBN: 9781608456413
Copyright © 2015 | 177 Pages | Publication Date: 11/01/2013

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Development, deployment, and evaluation of interactive technologies for individuals with autism have been rapidly increasing over the last decade. There is great promise for the use of these types of technologies to enrich interventions, facilitate communication, and support data collection. Emerging technologies in this area also have the potential to enhance assessment and diagnosis of individuals with autism, to understand the nature of autism, and to help researchers conduct basic and applied research. This book provides an in-depth review of the historical and state-of-the-art use of technology by and for individuals with autism. The intention is to give readers a comprehensive background in order to understand what has been done and what promises and challenges lie ahead. By providing a classification scheme and general review, this book can also help technology designers and researchers better understand what technologies have been successful, what problems remain open, and where innovations can further address challenges and opportunities for individuals with autism and the variety of stakeholders connected to them.

Table of Contents

Methods and Classification Scheme
Personal Computers and the Web
Video and Multimedia
Mobile Technologies
Shared Active Surfaces
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Sensor-Based and Wearable
Natural User Interfaces
Discussion and Conclusions

About the Author(s)

Julie A. Kientz, University of Washington
Dr. Julie A. Kientz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, with adjunct appointments in Computer Science and the Information School. She has worked in the space of autism and technology for the last 10 years, as well as the more general area of technologies for health and education. Her background is in Computer Science, and thus she comes to this area from the perspective of a technologist, but she has had a focus in human-centered design and works to bring the perspective of end users and other stakeholders in the design of novel technologies. Her primary experience in this area has been in the development and evaluation of three technologies for individuals with autism and their caregivers. The first, Abaris, was a tool that used digital pen technology and voice recognition to help therapists and teachers conducting discrete trial training therapy become more efficient and reflective of the data they collect. The second, Baby Steps, is a long-term project looking at using a variety of software, web, mobile, and social media technologies to engage parents of young children to identify early warning signs of developmental delay, including autism. Finally, her most recent project has been through the work of her Ph.D. student Alexis Hiniker on the evaluation of tablet-based games to teach children with autism to respond to multiple cues. Dr. Kientz received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her work on using technology to track developmental milestones in young children and was named an MIT Technology Review Top Innovator Under 35 in 2013. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008.

Matthew Goodwin, Northeastern University
Dr. Matthew S. Goodwin is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University with joint appointments in the Bouve College of Health Sciences and College of Computer & Information Science, where he co-administers a doctoral program in Personal Health Informatics, and directs the Computational Behavioral Science laboratory. He is a visiting Assistant Professor and the former director of Clinical Research at the MIT Media Lab. Goodwin serves on the Executive Board of the International Society for Autism Research, is chair of the Autism Speaks Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative, and has an adjunct associate research scientist appointment at Brown University. An experimental psychologist with applied interests, Goodwin has 20 years of research and clinical experience at the Groden Center working with children and adults on the autism spectrum and developing and evaluating innovative technologies for behavioral assessment and intervention, including telemetric physiological monitors, accelerometry sensors, and digital video/facial recognition systems. He is co-PI and associate director of the first large-scale collaborative effort by computer and behavioral scientists addressing early diagnosis and interventions for people on the autism spectrum, a research project supported by a National Science Foundation Expeditions in Computing Award. He is also co-PI on a Boston-based Autism Center of Excellence exploring basic mechanisms and innovative interventions in minimally verbal children with autism, recently funded by the National Institutes of Health. He is a co-editor of a volume entitled Technology Tools for Students with Autism: Innovations that Enhance Independence and Learning and has published a number of studies in the areas of wearable and ubiquitous sensors for persons with autism detailed in the present book. Goodwin received his B.A. in psychology from Wheaton College and his M.A. and Ph.D., both in Experimental Psychology, from the University of Rhode Island. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Affective Computing in the Media Lab in 2010.

Gillian R. Hayes, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Gillian R. Hayes is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Irvine, in the Department of Informatics in the School of Information and Computer Sciences, in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine, and in the School of Education. She is an alumna of Vanderbilt University (B.S., 1999) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 2007). For more than a decade, her research has focused on designing, developing, and evaluating technologies in support of vulnerable populations, including those with autism. Building on a background in computer science and a consulting career before academia, she focuses on methods for including people not traditionally represented in the design process or in research. She received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in 2008 for her work on mobile technologies for children and families coping with chronic illness and neurodevelopmental disabilities. She is the Director of Technology Research for the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, a major public-private partnership with clinical care, research, and education components. She is also the co-founder of Tiwahe Technology, a technology services firm focused on classroom-based and transition technologies for schools.

Gregory D. Abowd, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Gregory D. Abowd is a Regents' and Distinguished Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the father of two boys, Aidan and Blaise, who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Since the early 2000s, he has devoted a large portion of his research career to developing technologies addressing challenges related to autism. He advised, and was subsequently inspired by, the doctoral research of Gillian Hayes and Julie Kientz, two of the coauthors of this book, and has advised numerous doctoral students on topics in this area, ranging from direct interventions to tools for clinicians, educators, or researchers to use in screening, diagnosis, and assessment of interventions. He is the Chief Research Officer of Behavior Imaging Solutions, which has commercialized some of the thesis research of the CareLog system designed and evaluated by Gillian Hayes and is currently pursuing commercialization of a portable in-home behavior capture system that is the thesis research of current Ph.D. student, Nazneen. Gregory served on the Innovative Technologies for Autism committee with Matthew Goodwin that was first part of the Cure Autism Now Foundation and has continued under the auspices of Autism Speaks. In 1998, he founded the Atlanta Autism Consortium to unite different stakeholder communities within the Atlanta area focused on research, education, and advocacy, and now serves as the president of that non-profit organization. He has published extensively in the area of technology and autism, and has received several professional awards from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) in recognition of that work, including being selected as a Fellow of the ACM.

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