Usability Testing of ADD.It, a Technology Based Intervention for Children with HFA and/ or ADHD

Friday, May 15, 2015: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Imperial Ballroom (Grand America Hotel)
J. Morstein1 and D. Groot2, (1)Pediatrics/Behavioral Healht, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, (2)Social Work, Wichata State, Wichata, KS
Background: Children with high-functioning autism disorder (HFASD) and or attention deficit hyperactivity  disorder (ADHD) have organizational skills deficits that impact their ability to successfully meet academic expectations. Organizational skills include the ability to manage materials (e.g., homework) and executive functions such as organizing, planning, and managing tasks. This study was a usability test of technology based behavioral reward intervention (ADD.it)  designed to assist children with tasks and tracking . The study examined whether the technology was feasible, usable, beneficial, and valued by children and parents.

Objectives: To determine if children with HFASD and or ADHD will use a technology based intervention to support and enhance organizational skills. To assess parental interest and input related to the tecnhology based behavioral intervention.

Methods: A field-based usability test was conducted with quantitative and qualitative data collected. Sixteen children with ADHD and HFASD aged 8 to 12 years and their parents participated. The study was conducted in an 8-week summer treatment program. The usability test lasted 15 days, with data collected via observations, child and parent logs, surveys, and focus groups.

Results: During the usability test, children brought the prototype technology to camp 95% of the time and used it to record items to bring to camp 85% of the time. Parents completed a daily log simulating mobile functions 88% of the time. Using the prototype device for homework tracking resulted in 3 times the likelihood that homework was completed. Establishing a contingency between device game time and homework completion resulted in 4 times the likelihood that homework was completed. Children valued carrying the device, actively used the device to track tasks, and were motivated by having the ability to play games on the device as a reward. Parents valued the device as a contingent reward, desired novelty in the device’s games and features, and expressed an urgent need for help with their children’s organizational skills. 

Conclusions: Children will utilize and value a mobile technology for task management, with game time having a high reward value. Parents value the concept of using a mobile technology to improve their children’s organizational skills. The use of mobile technology for building and sustaining organizational skills via performance rewards is a promising intervention for effective home and school-related task management. The effectiveness of a more fully developed technology needs to be assessed in future research.