Computer-based intervention for social attention in autism
This research study aims to develop a new iPad app for children with autism, designed to help them learn and practice basic social and communication skills in a fun way.
The study, known as CLICK-EAST (“Computer-based Learning in Children: the Edinburgh Autism Social-attention Trial”), is divided into two main stages. The first stage involves developing the game, and the second stage will test whether it is a successful learning aid for children with autism.
In the first stage, the researchers are collecting feedback on the game from typically-developing children, parents of children with autism spectrum disorders, teachers and nursery nurses, speech and language therapists and young adults with an autism spectrum diagnosis. The goal is to design an app which is effective as a learning tool, enjoyable for children to play, and fits in well to family life.
In the second stage, the researchers will test whether the app has a beneficial effect on children with autism. It is hoped that by learning and practicing basic social and communication skills in a safe and fun way, children will start to show these skills in real life too. Using a computer game as a learning tool plays to the strengths of children with autism, who often show a strong preference for technology and much ability in this area.