Title: An augmented toy and social interaction in children with autism

Authors: William Farr; Nicola Yuill; Steve Hinske

Addresses: School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Pevensey Building, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK ' School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Pevensey Building, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK ' Institute for Pervasive Computing, ETH Zurich, Main building, Rämistrasse 101, Zurich 8092, Switzerland

Abstract: An Augmented Knight's Castle (AKC) play set was adapted so that children with autism can configure programmable elements. This is compared with a non-configurable AKC. When the system is configurable, and when it is switched on, less solitary play and more cooperative play occur. Digital toys and their configurability are key factors in design for children with autism, allowing greater individual control and more socially oriented behaviour. We suggest that tangibles provide a safety net for encouraging social interaction as they allow for a broad range of interaction styles.

Keywords: tangibles; configuration; autism; object interaction; social interaction; direct manipulation; configurable play sets; programmable elements; solitary play; cooperative play; digital toys; autistic children; interaction styles.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2012.046270

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2012 Vol.5 No.2/3/4, pp.104 - 125

Available online: 06 Mar 2012

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article