About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1755-1760
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1375

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

LIAR (LANGUAGE INTERFACE FOR AUTISTIC’S REHABILITATION): TECHNOLOGICAL AIDS FOR SPECIALISTS SUPPORTING THE ACQUISITION OF VERBAL BEHAVIOR IN PERSONS WITH AUTISM

A. Rega, A. Mennitto, L. Iovino

Neapolisanit srl- Rehabilitation Center (ITALY)
Autism is a complex evolutive disorder, caused by a neurological condition concerning the brain and affecting massively and pervasively the healthy development of the individual. It’s not easy to teach effective communication to persons with autism, because of the severe impairment (resistance) in language learning. In order to overcome this issue, photos, pictures and pictograms were used to make the most of typically good visual skills of persons with autism. Based on this method was then developed the PECS protocol (Picture Exchange Communication System). Our research activities focus on building a dynamic PECS system in order to treat autistic people in developmental age. We are achieving that by using technology aids like tablet and RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) sensors in order to create highly interactive sceneries and encourage motivational levels (MO), necessary for Mand production and effective PECS methodology acquisition. Our experimental methodology is a synthesis of two different processes: sensory enriched environment to increase motivation (Technology Enhanced Learning) with the possibility of specifically leading the child to an effective communication through symbols. Our project, named LIAR as in Language Interface for Autistic's Rehabilitation, aims at developing and empowering communication between children with autism. Enriching the environment through new technologies is our main goal. Our methodology, named i-Mand, is an union between Applied behavior analysis/Verbal Behavior approaches in teaching verbal behavior through PECS system.

The I-Mand methodology consist in several specifical stages, which aim to help children acquire specific skills and behaviours:
- PHASE 0 - The subject is free to use the tablet, where pictures from known and unknown games will appear. The child has to drag the displayed images, spawned at random points of the screen, on a target spot. After every successful attempt, the child will be rewarded to reinforce the correctly executed behavior. The main goals of this phase are: helping children familiarize with tech aids and identify most appropriate reinforcements and training their sensory-motor coordination.
- PHASE 1 - This is the phase where the board is introduced. The therapist can put RFID-tagged objects on the board. When an object is brought on the board, the screen will show a picture the child has to center on the screen as in the previous phase. As the task is completed, the child will get a reward, from the tablet (as pictures or sounds) and from the therapist, who will give to the child the object he interacted with virtually. The whole process is based on procedural requirements of Mand training.
- PHASE 2 - This last phase is procedurally identical to the previous one. After the dragging of the object, however, a picture or a video on the tablet will suggest to bring the device near the therapist’s neck, where a sensor will let the tablet give the reinforcement.

With LIAR technology it was possible to observe an overall improvement in every participant in our study: in particular, muscle tone, contact and communicative intentions were enhanced. Other achievements were improved skill in following verbal instructions, focusing and keeping attention on an object or an action.
keywords: autism, technology, sgd, iot, aba.
@InProceedings{REGA2017LIA,
author = {Rega, A. and Mennitto, A. and Iovino, L.},
title = {LIAR (LANGUAGE INTERFACE FOR AUTISTIC’S REHABILITATION): TECHNOLOGICAL AIDS FOR SPECIALISTS SUPPORTING THE ACQUISITION OF VERBAL BEHAVIOR IN PERSONS WITH AUTISM},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1375},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1375},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1755-1760}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Rega AU - A. Mennitto AU - L. Iovino
TI - LIAR (LANGUAGE INTERFACE FOR AUTISTIC’S REHABILITATION): TECHNOLOGICAL AIDS FOR SPECIALISTS SUPPORTING THE ACQUISITION OF VERBAL BEHAVIOR IN PERSONS WITH AUTISM
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1375
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 1755
EP - 1760
ER -
A. Rega, A. Mennitto, L. Iovino (2017) LIAR (LANGUAGE INTERFACE FOR AUTISTIC’S REHABILITATION): TECHNOLOGICAL AIDS FOR SPECIALISTS SUPPORTING THE ACQUISITION OF VERBAL BEHAVIOR IN PERSONS WITH AUTISM, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 1755-1760.
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