Specific Aims: - The study investigated the effects of an avatar assistant on children with ASD’s emotional cognition. - The study examined the social skills effects of the intervention.
Measures: - Social Skills Rating System - Social Skills Observation - Emotional Cognition - Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT) - Childhood Autism Rating Scale - Benton Test of Facial Recognition
Participants: - Children with autism (n=25) or Asperger Syndrome (n=24) - Diagnosis based on DSM-IV criteria - Age range 6-15 (M = 10.17) - 44 boys; 5 girls - Mitchell’s Place, Glenwood, Shelby County schools
Intervention and Control: - FaceSay and Tux Paint - 12 sessions (2 per week for 30 minutes) - One child per computer - 1-2 research assistants - Touch screens - Attendance rates >83% (10 sessions) - Rewards
Results 4: Observed Social Skills Group: Autism Aspergers Measure ControlTraining ControlTraining Adjusted 11.04 9.6 10.46 7.54 Means of (p < 0.05) (p < 0.05) Social Skills Observation Autism: F(1, 21) = 5.05,p < 0.05 Asperger: F(1, 20) = 13.61, p < 0.001
Post hoc analysis: R2 = 0.209, F(3, 21) = 3.12, p < 0.05 Higher CARS scores (e.g. more autism symptoms) were related to higher post-test Social Skills Observation scores (e.g. more inappropriate social interactions)