In this programme, participants will be introduced to the methodology of the 3d character animation approach/ computer graphics and how it can be an effective intervention for children with ASD.

The overall goals of this sessions are:

 

  1. to evaluate a new computer based social skills intervention designed and created for social skills learning in children with ASD, including potential for improving children’s social interactions in natural environments.

  2. to understand how computer-based face training can affect processing of faces . The ability to recognise emotions in others is a crucial component of social development. Impairment in this skill severely reduces one’s ability to participate in or interpret social interactions. This intervention help ASD individuals to internalise emotion recognition and to improve social skills.

  3. to learn how to harness ASD´s special systematising skills in order to enable emotion recognition abilities. In contrast to their difficulties in emotion recognition, individuals with ASD have been shown to have intact and even enhanced abilities in ‘systematising’. Systematising is the drive to analyse or build systems, allowing one to predict the behaviour of the system and control it. It has been suggested that these special interests could be harnessed when teaching children with ASD, in order to keep them intrinsically motivated. It may be possible for them to use such skills to compensate for some of their difficulties in empathy, particularly in the domain of emotion recognition.

The idea is to have a therapist facilitate the sessions, creating a safe and friendly environment, a setting where the child feels free to explore and express himself through this 3d animation tool. There are two ways we can set up the session:

1-The child is in charge of the 3d character animation tool, in a way that will allow him to animate the avatar himself and create a dialogue with the therapist, which will be receiving the animation from a room next door, through a TV screen and interacting with the animated avatar in real time to give the child feedback, engaging with the client through this puppet theatre brought to live by the child. This can be a very creative process where the child is animating a 3d character to communicate his thoughts and imagination, by giving it voice, exercising communication skills with the therapist on the other side of the screen and even creating a small animated movie between two animated characters.

2- The second option is to have the therapist animate the avatar and so to create a friendly dialoge with the child who is receiving the animation. Oftentimes the child shows more interest and motivation to listen to the therapist and engage in a dialoge through the avatar. It is as if they were less intimidated by the 3d character than by the therapist, and so things like Eye-contact and responding to the 3d character´s initiative to engage in some kind of activity, ( reading or writing, roll modelling , etc) are possible with this kind of set up. Ideally we have a therapist sit close to the child and show him how it is ´ok, to talk to the 3d character, and also modelling, so that the child can see how to engage in social interactions. Then we have, of course another therapist animating the avatar in a different room.

To see a demonstration on how Interactive Avatar can Engage Childen with Autism, look at the following videos:

Invirtua Avatar Helps with Reading

Speech Pathologist Reaches Boy with Autism

Interactive Avatar Connects with Autistic Child

Invirtua's Avatars for Autism technology helps children on the autism spectrum thrive and have more effective therapy sessions with interactive avatars.

In collaboration with INVIRTUA

PEOPLE & TALENT

TRAINING CENTER, PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT OF THE ASPERGER PERSON