Thursday, March 24, 2011

Clinic Notes: Virtual Conversations and Autism

My clinic experience with autism and technology, such as computers and iPads, and reports of children with autism interacting with robots, has led me to believe that effective treatment of autism has to involve technology. So I was glad to see a report this week which found that adults with autism improved when they interacted with a virtual partner. The study was reported in "Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. The adults with autism in the study were high functioning and were given onscreen dialog options for their conversations with their virtual partner. They were able to initiate and maintain a conversation on a variety of topics. Perhaps one day these can be implanted and cue the child to converse appropriately in different social situations.

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