Title: Supporting intense physical interaction in technology-enhanced therapeutic play

Authors: Alessandro Pollini

Addresses: Faculty of Psychology, International Telematic University Uninettuno, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 39 00186 Roma, Italy; Communication Science Department, University of Siena, Palazzo San Niccolò, Via Roma 56, 53100 Siena, Italy

Abstract: Technologies that are specifically designed for people with special needs, and for children in particular, have an undeniable social relevance and can be important within the wider research of interaction design for children. In this perspective, active surfaces is an example of tangible technology designed to assist and empower water therapy for children with special needs aiming at merging physical and cognitive therapeutic goals. Active surfaces aims at supporting caregivers in experimenting with creative options and to increase physical activity, greater motivation, a longer attention span and active participation for children with special needs. This case study focuses on the field experiments with active surfaces within the educational and therapeutic domain, challenging both technology and physical and cognitive therapy in the water.

Keywords: interactive systems; special needs; modularity; tangibility; water therapy; intense physical interaction; technology-enhanced therapeutic play; children; active surfaces; cognitive therapeutic goals; physical therapeutic goals; motivation; attention span; active participation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2013.058282

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2013 Vol.6 No.4, pp.320 - 338

Available online: 12 Dec 2013

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