Use of robotics to stimulate imitation in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A pilot study in a clinical setting

Daniela Conti, Santo Di Nuovo, Serafino Buono, Grazia Trubia, Alessandro Di Nuovo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition in which deficits in social interaction and social communication can make everyday life difficult. The use of mechanical and electronic devices has proven to be effective in ASD therapy and recently Socially Assistive Robotics (SAR) research has suggested that robots are promising tools for the treatment of this disorder. Starting from these findings, our on-going research aims to identify effective modalities for treatment of ASD through interaction with a robot, and to integrate them into existing therapeutic protocols to improve their efficacy. In this paper we present some preliminary findings of our current work towards this objective. We detail the methodology and give the results of a pilot clinical trial, focused on imitation skills, with three children affected by ASD and Intellectual Disability (ID) under treatment in a research centre specialized in the care of children with disabilities. The success of the experiment suggests that the robot can be effectively integrated in the ASD therapies currently used in the centre. Analysis of these initial results encourages the development of effective protocols in which the robot becomes a mediator between the child with ASD and humans and suggests some research avenues for focus in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1-6
Number of pages6
Volume2015-November
ISBN (Print)9781467367042
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2015
Event24th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2015 - Kobe, Japan
Duration: Aug 31 2015Sep 4 2015

Other

Other24th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2015
CountryJapan
CityKobe
Period8/31/159/4/15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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    Conti, D., Di Nuovo, S., Buono, S., Trubia, G., & Di Nuovo, A. (2015). Use of robotics to stimulate imitation in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A pilot study in a clinical setting. In Proceedings - IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Vol. 2015-November, pp. 1-6). [7333589] Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ROMAN.2015.7333589