Speech development of autistic children by interactive computer games

Md. Mustafizur Rahman (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh)
S.M. Ferdous (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Anika Anwar (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 22 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Speech disorder is one of the most common problems found with autistic children. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the introduction of computer‐based interactive games along with the traditional therapies in order to help improve the speech of autistic children.

Design/methodology/approach

From analysis of the works of Ivar Lovaas, it is already known that there are several disadvantages to the “applied behavior analysis” approach to solve the problems of autistic children; so the authors' methodologies were to encourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to “play,” where playing is mediated through technology. By creating technological methods of interaction (visual displays and physical robots), play and comfortable interactions can be garnered from children with autism. There is a feeling of “safety” in having the main form of interaction occur with non‐humans. Further, these devices allow the child, rather than a third party, to be in control of the interactions.

Findings

From the observations, it could found that the problems of autistic children have a wide range and it is almost impossible to design a single game for a group of children. Instead, each child needs to be treated individually. Hence, the authors are suggesting different types of games for different problems.

Research limitations/implications

The authors have proposed some computer game‐based therapies for two types of autism that are discussed in the paper. Interactive games can be built for other types too. After having a group of these games it can be an experimental topic to determine the order of execution of these therapies. However, the proposed games heavily depend on the instructors. Research should be conducted to minimize the duties of instructor.

Social implications

The autism spectral disorders are defined by the qualitative impairments in social communication. Although the actual reason for autism is still unknown to the medical sciences, it has been proved to be the result of abnormal and irregular growth of cerebral neurons of human brains. People suffering from autism very often demonstrate a poor performance in social interactions and hence find it difficult to communicate with other people. So if vocalization can be encouraged at the age of 3, a pivotal age for children with ASD, this could lead to an increased communicative ability, which makes not only the child's life easier, but also increases their chances of functioning in the world around them.

Originality/value

This paper offers a hierarchy of speaking skills and suggests corresponding games for each stage to achieve a necessary level of efficiency.

Keywords

Citation

Rahman, M., Ferdous, S., Ishtiaque Ahmed, S. and Anwar, A. (2011), "Speech development of autistic children by interactive computer games", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 208-223. https://doi.org/10.1108/17415651111189450

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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