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Maria Jose Galvez Trigo, Penelope Jane Standen and Sue Valerie Gray Cobb
The purpose of this paper is to identify the main reasons for low uptake of robots in special education (SE), obtained from an analysis of previous studies that used…
The purpose of this paper is to identify the main reasons for low uptake of robots in special education (SE), obtained from an analysis of previous studies that used robots in the area, and from interviewing SE teachers about the topic.
An analysis of 18 studies that used robots in SE was performed, and the conclusions were complemented and compared with the feedback from interviewing 13 SE teachers from Spain and the UK about the reasons they believed caused the low uptake of robots in SE classrooms.
Five main reasons why SE schools do not normally use robots in their classrooms were identified: the inability to acquire the system due to its price or availability; its difficulty of use; the low range of activities offered; the limited ways of interaction offered; and the inability to use different robots with the same software.
Previous studies focussed on exploring the advantages of using robots to help children with autism spectrum conditions and learning disabilities. This study takes a step further and looks into the reasons why, despite the benefits shown, robots are rarely used in real-life settings after the relevant study ends. The authors also present a potential solution to the issues found: involving end users in the design and development of new systems using a user-centred design approach for all the components, including methods of interaction, learning activities and the most suitable type of robots.
Penelope Jane Standen, Adam Clifford and Kiran Jeenkeri
The purpose of this paper is to provide information for non-specialists on identifying the characteristics, assessment and support needs of people with intellectual…
The purpose of this paper is to provide information for non-specialists on identifying the characteristics, assessment and support needs of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) accessing mainstream services.
A review of relevant policy and research literature is supplemented with observations from the authors’ own experience of working in mental health services for people with ID.
With change in provision of services the likelihood of mainstream staff encountering someone with ID will increase. However, information on whether a person has ID or their level of ID is not always available to professionals in acute mental health services meeting an individual for the first time. Reliance on observational and interview-based assessments can leave people with ID vulnerable to a range of over- and under-diagnosis issues. This is as a result of difficulties with communication and emotional introspection, psychosocial masking, suggestibility, confabulation and acquiescence. For people with poor communication, carers will be the primary source of information and their contribution has to be taken into account.
Knowing or suspecting an individual has ID allows staff to take into account the various assessment, diagnosis and formulation issues that complicate a valid and reliable understanding of their mental health needs. Awareness about an individual’s ID also allows professionals to be vigilant to their own biases, where issues of diagnostic overshadowing or cognitive disintegration may be important considerations. However, understanding some of the practical and conceptual issues should ensure a cautious and critical approach to diagnosing, formulating and addressing this population’s mental health needs.
This synthesis of a review of the literature and observations from the authors’ experience of working in mental health services for people with ID provides an informed and practical briefing for those encountering people with ID accessing mainstream services.