Linda Rice, a School Psychologist in California, together with Carla Anne Wall, Adam Fogel and Fred Shic of Yale, have published their paper on a 2010 Randomized Controlled Study of FaceSay with 32 Kindergarten through 5th grade students at the Moopark School District.
At no cost, you can now read the peer reviewed "Avatar Assistant" paper that showed improvements in Emotion Recognition and Social Interactions for both the HFA and LFA participants who played FaceSay for just 12 sesssions in this randomized controlled study. The HFA students also improved on Face Recognition.
5 years after the original study, the break through results have not yet been matched. FaceSay is still the only technology intervention to show generalization to everyday life, in particular to playground social interactions.
In a Case Study just presented at the Vision Sciences Society, a child with developmental prosopagnosia went from a 50% chance baseline performance to 74% on the Cambridge Face Memory Test after 16 sessions of playing FaceSay. Here's a link to the abstract by Jordan Mathison, Sherryse Corrow, and Albert Yonas at the University of Minnesota.
Vision Sciences Society Abstract
The paper on the 2007 Randomized Controlled Study of FaceSay has successfully completed the peer review process at the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (see the online version). Here's a quick excerpt from the abstract
"The children with LFA demonstrated improvements in two areas of the intervention: emotion recognition and social interactions. The children with HFA demonstrated improvements in all three areas: facial recognition, emotion recognition, and social interactions. These findings, particularly the measured improvements to social interactions in a natural environment, are encouraging"
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.
AN APPLICATION OF COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING ON EMOTION DISCRIMINATION IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM: A COMPARISON TO NON-COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING
Trista Perez, a grad student at UAB, successfully defended her master's thesis, "Social Skills Training in a Head Start Population" this month. The was a randomized controlled trial with 60+ neurotypical preschool children. The group that played FaceSay's "Bandaid Clinic" game showed statistically significant improvements in the Benton Face Recognition test. o
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