Autism and Technology

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to enjoy themselves and be engaged when interacting with computers, as these interactions occur in a safe and trustworthy environment. In this paper, we present a systematic literature review on the state of the research on the use of technology to teach people with ASD. We reviewed 94 studies that show how the use of technology in educational contexts helps people with ASD develop several skills, how these approaches consider aspects of user experience, usability and accessibility, and how game elements are used to enrich learning environments. This systematic literature review shows that the development and evaluation of systems and applications for users with ASD is very promising. The use of technological advancements such as virtual agents, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality undoubtedly provides a comfortable environment that promotes constant learning for people with ASD.

Currently, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects a significant number of people who have difficulties with communication and socialization, which results in complexities for their learning. Studies have examined the use of technology and computer-based interventions to teach people with ASD language and social skills

In a study carried out by the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the USA  published in June 2018, it was estimated that 2.41% of children in the United States of America have an autism spectrum disorder. This shows an increase of 0.94% compared to 2010.

Games that use technology are widely used to teach people conceptual knowledge and skills. There are different implementations of such games, such as serious games, gamification, and e-learning.

Serious games are games whose main objective is not fun or entertainment but the learning or practice of skills. In 1970, Clark Abt  defined this concept as follows in his book called “Serious Games”—“games that have an explicit and carefully thought-out educational purpose and are not intended to be played primarily for amusement. This does not mean that serious games are not, or should not be, entertaining”.

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