Abstract

This study focused on intervention using a humanoid robot to facilitate social engagement and joint attention in four children with autism. Intervention was conducted over a three month period, with each child receiving pre-testing, intervention, and post-testing. Intervention was based on the SCERTS model (Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, & Laurent, 2003). Pre- and post-testing involved interactions with a parent, a familiar adult interaction, a less-familiar adult interaction, and a triadic interaction. This study focuses on the baseline and follow-up testing from the interaction with the familiar adult. Following a period of traditional intervention, sessions involving a humanoid robot (named Troy) were conducted. The robot was integrated into the therapy in a low dose model, meaning that during a 50-minute therapy session, approximately 10 minutes were designated to interactions using the robot to facilitate the interaction. Pre- and post-intervention assessments were recorded, analyzed, and coded for social engagement behaviors. Results comparing baseline to follow-up assessments of the interactions with the familiar adult indicated that the most notable changes were observed in reciprocal action and eye contact. Little change was noted in initiation of social engagement, symbolic play, and language. The implications of these results are discussed and recommendations for future research are provided.

Degree

MS

College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2012-08-02

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd5560

Keywords

autism, robot, joint attention, social engagement

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