The Promise and Relevance of Emerging Technologies in the Education of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Promise and Relevance of Emerging Technologies in the Education of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Edmon Begoli (Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS), USA), Jeanine DeFalco (Columbia University, USA) and Cristi Ogle (Knox County Schools, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0816-8.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter is a survey of the application areas of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies in the education and behavioral therapies for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This survey includes the most recent successful applications of social skill training through VR and AR for ASD populations. VR and AR technologies are rapidly increasing in popularity and availability due to the improved affordability and availability of high-performance devices. This chapter provides an overview of some of the most recent devices and tools that could be of use for educational and social skill development purposes.
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When I design livestock facilities, I can test run the equipment in my imagination similar to a virtual reality computer program. I did not know that this was a special skill until I started interviewing other people about how they think. I was surprised to discover that the other non-autistic equipment designers could not do full motion test runs of equipment in their minds.

- Temple Grandin (Grandin, 2009)

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The Characteristics Of Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Students diagnosed with ASD have persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts and settings. Previously classified separately, Autism, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified are now incorporated into ASD; Asperger’s Syndrome, however, remains distinct from this grouping. The term “spectrum” used in ASD refers to the wide range of associated symptoms and the severity of each.

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