Current Research

Investigations Connected to Avatars for Autism

BYU RESEARCHERS USE DIGITAL PUPPETEER SYSTEM

By Gary Jesch

This year, a professor at Brigham Young University published a study in the Elsevier Journal called “Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” It details how they used our 3D Digital Puppeteer software to examine avatar-based social skills intervention in a clinical setting. This small study revealed a similar conclusion made by many other researchers in Europe and the US. Participants make consistent gains when assisted by computer-generated interactive avatars.

BYU education researchers have found that some autistic children love learning with the help of live animated characters. In fact, the BYU study found that children learned more by talking to an animated fish avatar named Marla than they learned by talking to another person.

READ MORE

RESEARCH – BEYOND ABA THERAPY

By Dr. Tom Buggey with Gary Jesch

There are very few instructional strategies that have proven successful for working with children with autism. The method of choice over the last half century has been intense Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). However, the autism community itself is moving away from ABA.

Although ABA has the most comprehensive treatment database, and there is evidence to suggest that the more intense the training, the better the outcomes, especially related to IQ and language (Virués-Ortega, 2010), there are still unresolved issues regarding the ethics of a 30 – 40 hr-per-week regimen for younger children. 

READ MORE

STUDIES SUPPORT EFFECTIVENESS OF AVATARS

By Dr. Tom Buggey with Gary Jesch

There has been a prevailing notion that autistic children tend to be visual learners (Erdodi, Lajiness-O’Neill, & Schmitt, 2013), and more studies show the effectiveness of avatars, computer-generated cartoon characters designed to aid visual learners.

What is known is that when the human is not present, but represented on a screen, attention is heightened and learning results improved (e.g. Bellini & Akulian 2007; Buggey & Ogle, 2012; Charlop-Christy, Le, &. Freeman, 2000; Hine & Wolery, 2006). 

READ MORE

Share This