ICT and autism care: state of the art

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Over the past 10 years, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has increased in regard to the treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). ICT support mechanisms (e.g. computers, laptops, robots) are particularly attractive and are adapted to children with ASD. In addition, ICT algorithms can offer new perspectives for clinicians, outside direct apps or gaming proposals. Here, we will focus on the use of serious games and robots because of their attractiveness and their value in working on social skills.

Recent findings

The latest knowledge regarding the use of ICT in the forms of serious games and robotics applied to individuals with ASD shows that the field of serious games has already achieved interesting and promising results, although the clinical validations are not always complete. In the field of robotics, there are still many limitations on the use of ICT (e.g. most interaction are similar to the wizard of Oz), and questions remain concerning their eventual effectiveness.

Summary

To describe the implications of the findings for clinical practice or research, we describe two large projects, namely, JEMImE and Michelangelo, as examples of current studies that are aimed at enhancing social skills in children with ASD by including novel algorithms with clinical insights in robots or serious games.

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