The Challenge of Studying Interaction in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder during Play Activity with a Robotic Platform

Paolo Meucci, Laura Zampini, Ambra Mara Giovannetti, Alice Quadraroli, Amanda Viola D’Arrigo, Daria Riva, Chiara Vago, Sara Bulgheroni, Francesca Cecchi, Irene Mannari, Francesco Paolo Falotico, Andrea Pratesi, Giovanni Passetti, Cecilia Laschi, Paolo Dario, Carlo Riva, Elisa Rossoni, Milda Černiauskaitė, Matilde Leonardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study aimed to assess the validity of using a robotic platform (RODDI) to increase and enhance communicative exchanges between educators and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability. Nine children with ASD and intellectual disability and their educators took part in the study. Their communicative exchanges were assessed in two different settings: a normal play session and a RODDI play session. RODDI platform did not appear to enhance communicative exchanges in children with ASD. They produced a significantly lower number of vocal productions to the educators in the RODDI play sessions than in the normal ones. Even the educators’ vocal production was significantly lower in quantitative and qualitative terms in the RODDI play sessions. However, analysing children’s gaze direction, RODDI appeared to enhance children’s attention on the task. The benefits of using robotic platforms with children with ASD should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-129
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Autism Spectrum disorder
  • Interaction
  • Linguistic input
  • Robotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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