TOBY: Early intervention in autism through technology

Svetha Venkatesh, Dinh Phung, Thi Duong, Stewart Greenhill, Brett Adams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We describe TOBY Playpad, an early intervention program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). TOBY teaches the teacher - the parent - during the crucial period following diagnosis, which often coincides with no access to formal therapy. We reflect on TOBY's evolution from tabletop aid for flashcards to an iPad app covering a syllabus of 326 activities across 51 skills known to be deficient for ASD children, such imitation, joint attention and language. The design challenges unique to TOBY are the need to adapt to marked differences in each child's skills and rate of development (a trait of ASD) and teach parents unfamiliar concepts core to behavioural therapy, such as reinforcement, prompting, and fading. We report on three trials that successively decrease oversight and increase parental autonomy, and demonstrate clear evidence of learning. TOBY's uniquely intertwined Natural Environment Tasks are found to be effective for children and popular with parents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2013
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Perspectives, Conference Proceedings - The 31st Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Pages3187-3196
Number of pages10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2013 - Paris, France
Duration: 27 Apr 20132 May 2013
Conference number: 31st
https://chi2013.acm.org/program/

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2013
Abbreviated titleCHI 2013
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period27/04/132/05/13
OtherTheme: Changing Perspectives
Internet address

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Early intervention
  • Therapy
  • Wait-list

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