This study examined the effect of intervention involving a humanoid robot on challenging or tantrum behaviors of four children with low-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The current work was part of a larger study involving the effect of the robot on functional communication skills on a variety of different interactions with different communication partners. All participants took part in a single-subject, multiple-baseline design with various session types including baseline, traditional play-based treatment, treatment including the robot, and follow-up sessions. For the purpose of this study, only the sessions including treatment with the robot where the robot interaction occurred at the beginning or the end of a 50-minute session were analyzed. Six different categories of tantrum behaviors were analyzed during the sessions including: crying/screaming; self-distracting behaviors; biting, hair pulling, squeezing or pinching; throwing/shoving; and hitting/kicking. Results indicate that for 3 out of the 4 children, tantrum behaviors decreased when the robot interaction came at the beginning of the session. The fourth child showed minimal change in tantrum behaviors. To improve understanding of the influence of a robot on children with ASD, future research should be conducted to determine what aspects of the robot interaction would be most effective on reducing these behaviors.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Whitmer, Tayler Bodon, "Incorporating a Robot in Intervention with Children with ASD: The Effect on Tantrum Behaviors" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 6144.
autism, robot intervention, tantrum behaviors, single subject research