NameHedge and Storni

Type:Human Computer Interaction, Interaction Design


Autism Spectrum Disorders(ASD) is characterized by a spectrum of neurological disorders. It is a developmental disorder with core deficits in social interaction, social communication, and imagination (e.g. in the context of play), including restricted interests and repititive behaviour. Autism is highly idiosyncratic in nature. Research stresses the importance of providing early and intensive interventions that are highly individualized. This study explores the role of physical computing in developing supports and solutions to be used by children and their caretakers to achieve self-regulation and acquire skills. Auti-Lite was developed through a user centered design approach and consists of two parts - 1) a generic modular frame and 2) a number of specific 'tiles', meant to be used at school or at home. The system allows the parents and teachers to customize the product to meet different requirements of a child in the spectrum. Tiles afford tangible interaction and can be sensory, communicational, voice-activated, and supporting the acquisition of social, academic, motor skills, interactional needs and so on. The design is modular (different tiles for different needs, tasks, skills acquisition) and progressive (within each tiles task progress from easy to difficult as the users develop their skills). The idea, therefore, is a family of products (tiles) that would then, evolve, in accordance with the child's advancements in their understanding, acquisition of skills, and developmental levels. It also aims to enhance the relationship dynamics and communication between the child and the caregiver by providing opportunities for play-based interactions and joint attention while also encouraging co-participation/communication/eye-contact.