Dr. Juan Hourcade
Participation year
Project title

Improving the Quality of Communication and Social Interactions for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Through Multi-touch Tablet Applications

Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have limited social skills which threaten their chances of living independent lives as adults.  Computer-based interventions have shown some positive results, but they tend not to support face-to-face interactions with other people.  The purpose of this research is to create and modify multi-touch display applications to encourage communication, collaboration and creativity for children with ASD.  These applications take advantage of the interest many children with ASD have in using computers to have them participate in activities where they engage face-to-face with others, learning social skills.  The programming of the applications involved using the Python programming language and the PyMT framework.  The applications were used at an elementary school and an after school program for children with ASD.  Our observations so far suggest the applications successfully engage children in collaborative activities where they practice and learn social skills and in creative activities where they can express their ideas.
Prairie View A & M University