Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD):

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It results from neurological disorders that affect the functioning of the brain and impact the brain normal development mainly in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities [1]. Autism symptoms and characteristics appear in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe. But usually these individuals show impairments in social interaction, communication, imagination (repetitive behaviour) and fantasy. Furthermore, these individuals have difficulties recognizing body language, making eye contact, understanding other people’s emotions, and the lack of social or emotional reciprocity [2]. These difficulties in interpreting social situations in general, causes children with ASD lose or miss information on what is happening or happened during the social exchange [3].

There is a big contrast in the development of children with ASD when compared with typically developing children, and for that reason they need timely and suitable intervention that responds to all of their impaired areas of development. Therefore, different approaches are used in intervention process with children with ASD. More recently, the use of social robots has been explored in order to facilitate intervention processes of children with ASD.

More about ASD in here.





[1] E. Sutinen, M. Virmajoki-Tyrväinen and M. Virnes, Concretizing Technologies in Special Education for Developing Social Skills, in specedu_final.pdf (accessed on January 2009)

[2] Scassellati, B., Henny Admoni, & Matarić, M. (2012). Robots for Use in Autism Research. Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, 14(1), 275–294. 

[3] Happé, F., Briskman, J., Frith, U., Happé, F., & Frith, U. (2001). Exploring the cognitive phenotype of autism: weak “central coherence” in parents and siblings of children with autism: II. Real-life skills and preferences. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 42(3), 309–16.