Videogames for learning ?

Videogames for learning

Medical professionals at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas are using videogames to educate children about their ailments and treatments. While the use of this technology has focused on patients with cancer, is this a possible application for children with autism ?

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KASPAR – The Kid-Friendly Robot

KASPAR

KASPAR is a child-sized robot create to identify optimal robot design in order to maximize interaction with children. Similar research is being conducted through the IROMEC Project (Interactive RObotic social MEdiators as Companions) – mentioned here earlier – which is specifically studying the impact of robots on children with autism.

Read about the KASPAR project here or watch this video.

Also learn about the Aurora Project, a precursor to the work on KASPAR which looked at the use of robots to improve interactive skills in children with autism.

Recent India Teacher Workshop on Use of Computer Technology for Autistic Children

Teacher Workshop
Last month a five-day teacher workshop was sponsored by the Autism Society of India and the Spastics Society of Karnataka to
demonstrate software applications in the teaching of autistic children. Some of the packages demonstrated included: Natak role-playing software, JAWS screen-reader software, and the new Scratch programming software for children from MIT

Read more here.

New Software Augments Communication for Special Needs Children

SC@UT Software

SC@UT, software for augmenting communication by computer devices (PC’s, laptops, PDA’s, etc.), is for children with special communication and educational needs, such as those who suffer from autism. The functioning of SC@UT is meant to be easy: through a PC or a PDA, parents or tutors can download the specific software from http://www.ugr.es/~scaut/. Later, the display is ready to be used as a way of communicating between the child and the society. Through the SC@UT project, the child can express such needs as going to the toilet or hunger, as well as such states as being happy, sad, or tired. SC@UT includes a speaker which transmits the “user’s comments” to the listener.

“This is a project promoted by the Regional Government of Andalusia which attempts to reduce differences between disabled and non-disabled people”, states professor Cañas Delgado. “We have created a configurable parameter tool that allows disabled people to interact with their environment. In this way, their adaptation to a world full of barriers is much easier. In present world, social and labour integration is impossible without communication and access to education.”

Download the software here

In case you need translation for parts of the Sc@ut web site, use the “Translate a web page” feature of Google Language Tools.