Four Randomized, Controlled Studies of FaceSay™ have been completed since 2007. The FaceSay participants, when compared to the control participants, demonstrated statistically significantly improvements in an impressive range of measures:
Playground Interactions With Peers (an unmatched breakthrough)
Standardized Emotion Recognition Tests (Ekman, NEPSY II)
Standardized Face Recognition Tests (Benton)
Theory of Mind Tests (NEPSY II)
Parent Self Reports (SSRS)
While still far from FDA-grade evidence, these results are unmatched by any Social Skills technology intervention for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Read More...
As part of her dissertation, Linda Rice, a School Psychologist for a California School District, conducted what is now the fourth Randomized, Placebo Controlled Study of my FaceSay Social Skills Software. The study included 32 high functioning students with an ASD (Kindergarten-5th). Half of the students were randomized to a lower dose FaceSay™ intervention, and the other half to the students' usual weekly computer lab activity, SuccessMaker®. The participants played these games in the computer lab for 25 minute sessions, once a week for 10 weeks. No touch screens were used. The children did not receive any social skills training in school. In prior studies, the FaceSay dosing was twice per week and included touch screens and participants were in private schools with special support for autistic students.
Given the lower dose, and the more challenging environment, the outcomes were surprisingly good. The blinded playground observations, which were a breakthrough in Dr. Hopkins' study, were not significant, as I expected. The blinded Teacher reports (SRS) approached, but were not significant, similar to Dr. Hopkins' study (parent SSRS). As expected, the Emotion Recognition (NEPSY II Affect Recognition subscale) was statistically significant (p < .001).
The big surprise for me was that the Theory of Mind measure (NEPSY II ToM subscale) was significant (p < .001). This is something we had not measured before and which was very encouraging, particularly given the combined lower dose and more challenging school environment.
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