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01.08.2011 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 4/2011

Journal of Medical Systems 4/2011

A Smart-Phone Application and a Companion Website for the Improvement of the Communication Skills of Children with Autism: Clinical Rationale, Technical Development and Preliminary Results

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Medical Systems > Ausgabe 4/2011
Autoren:
Gianluca De Leo, Carol H. Gonzales, Padmaja Battagiri, Gondy Leroy

Abstract

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Today, one in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism. Lack of social interaction and problems with communication are the main characteristics displayed by children with ASD. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a communication system where children exchange visual symbols as a form of communication. The visual symbols are laminated pictures stored in a binder. We have designed, developed and are currently testing a software application, called PixTalk which works on any Windows Mobile Smart-phone. Teachers and caregivers can access a web site and select from an online library the images to be downloaded on to the Smart-phone. Children can browse and select images to express their intentions, desires, and emotions using PixTalk. Case study results indicate that PixTalk can be used as part of ongoing therapy.

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