ASC-Inclusion – a Virtual World Teaching Children with ASC about Emotions
Objectives: To demonstrate the up to date status of the ASC-Inclusion project, as well as a summary of open trials of the system, conducted so far.
Methods: The program is embedded in a virtual world and includes highly engaging elements, aimed at enhancing the child's motivation, including games, animation, video and audio clips, rewards, a child's avatar, and communication with smart agents and peers. The system combines several state-of-the art technologies in one comprehensive environment, including computerized analysis of users’ gestures, facial and vocal expressions. Two additional features were added this year, addressing parent-child collaborative use of the system, and computer's formative assessment of feedback to users. When complete, the system is planned to be available for home or school use, and as an aid to therapists.An iterative process of testing, feedback and evaluation supports the system's development. So far, the system has versions in four different languages: English, Hebrew, Swedish, and Polish.
Results: The current presentation will demonstrate:
1. The system at its open trial evaluation status: its virtual world and emotion recognition training in the different modalities, as well as the expression training components, using the above technologies for analysis and feedback on the children's' performance. The environment, tutorials and games presented have been evaluated and approved by our panels of families and professionals.
2. Preliminary results of the open trials conducted with 30 children per site in the UK, Israel, Sweden, and Poland.
Conclusions: The ASC-Inclusion project offers children with ASC and their families the benefit of state of the art educational technology for enhancement of their socio-emotional communication repertoire. A multi-site evaluation of the project is in process and preliminary results will be presented.