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Collaborative computer touchscreen gaming to encourage social interactions between children who have autism spectrum disorders: A feasibility study
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Living with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) affects activities of everyday life and can create challenges in creating and maintaining relationships with other people from an early age. There is emerging evidence for the use of modern technology to create and apply applications and games that can help to improve social interaction skills and collaboration with peers for children with ASD. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect on social behaviors of adolescents with ASD on the severe end of the spectrum when playing a cooperative jigsaw puzzle game offered via modern technology (a touchscreen). We recruited 12 participants from a special school unit for adolescents with severe disability. In pairs, they played a puzzle game offered via two modes: i) a large touchscreen and ii) a traditional jigsaw puzzle while their behaviours were video-recorded. We identified and counted number and length of categories of social interactions, focus and communication and analysed the results descriptively. Although not significant, the results showed that overall the touchscreen was more engaging and also facilitated more positive social interactions and collaborative behaviors while decreasing negative social intra-actions (e.g. stereotypical repetitive behavior). In conclusion, use of a touchscreen to facilitate social interactions by adolescents with ASD shows promise, although more research into the use of touchscreen applications as well as trials with more participants is required to explore this area more definitely.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
Touchscreen technology, Virtual reality, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Adolescents
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-104105OAI: diva2:817661
External cooperation
University of Otago, Nya Zeeland
Educational program
Master's Programme in Physiotherapy
Available from: 2015-08-13 Created: 2015-06-05 Last updated: 2015-08-13Bibliographically approved

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