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Article Analysis: ECHOES Fostering Social Communication in Children with Autism

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ECHOES: An intelligent serious game for fostering social communication in children with autism. Information Sciences 264, 41-60.

Introduction

The article that I selected was ‘ECHOES: An intelligent serious game for fostering social communication in children with autism’ by Sara Bernardini, Kaska Porayska-Pomsta and Tim Smith, Information Sciences journal. The stated purpose of the article is to present the design and implementation of ECHOES, an interactive video game built to help young children with autism practice and develop social communication skills. The serious game system, ECHOES, was deployed to five special schools with educators committed to working with children with autism across the United Kingdom. The design of the game includes an intelligent virtual character on a 42 inch multi-touch LCD display with eye-gaze tracking. The child with autism is able to interact with the three-dimensional agent, who acts as both peer and tutor, for several learning activities intended for use in school and at home. The interactive learning activities take place in a two-dimensional sensory “garden”. The design of the autonomous virtual agent is based on participatory design workshops with practitioners and children along with the SCERTS framework. According to the article, the SCERTS framework is a well-established educational intervention approach aimed to support the social communication (SC) and emotional regulation (ER) of children with autism through appropriately designed transactional support (TS). The article went into great detail on the design of the artificial agent including the artificial intelligence capabilities of the software that enable the agent to work autonomously with the subject and modify its ...

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...tism spectrum disorders. Professionals and families of children with ASD have become more knowledgeable of the range of evidence-based practices. Professionals have had to choose and implement practices based on the child’s strengths, challenges and characteristics. The sophisticated expansion of technology for children with ASD to fostering social communication is very exciting, new and innovative, but must be researched further. I am hoping that the ongoing research the development and use of virtual games results in positive outcomes.

References

Bernardini, Sara, Porayska-Pomsta, Kaska, Smith Tim J. (2014). ECHOES: An intelligent serious game for fostering social communication in children with autism. Information Sciences 264, 41-60.

Hall, Laura J. (2013) Autism spectrum disorders: from theory to practice – 2nd edition. New York, NY: Pearson. p. 195
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