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Effect Of Sensory Feedback On Turn-Taking Using Paired Devices For Children With ASD

Eleuda Nunez, Soichiro Matsuda, Masakazu Hirokawa, Junichi Yamamoto, Kenji Suzuki

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Most children can naturally engage in play and by this, develop skills while interacting with their peers and toys. However, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often show impairments in play skills which result in limited opportunities for interaction with others and the learning of social skills. In this regard, robotic devices/toys that can provide simple and attractive indications are advantageous to engage children with ASD in play activities that require social and interaction skills. This project proposes a new interaction method using paired robotic devices called COLOLO to facilitate a fundamental exchange of intention in communication so-called turn-taking. These tangible devices are designed to sense the user’s manipulation, send a message to the paired device, and display visual cues for assisting children to achieve turn-taking through play. On the sessions with COLOLO there are two devices, one held by the therapist and one by the child, and they take turns to manipulate the toys and change their colors. In this article, two experimental conditions or interaction rules: the “two-sided lighting rule” and the “one-sided lighting rule" were introduced. The two interactions rules differ from each on the way the devices used the visual cues to indicate the turn-holder. The effect of each interaction rule on children’s turn-taking behaviors was investigated through an experimental study with four children with ASD. From the results, we found that with the one-sided lighting rule participants tended to shift their gaze more and to decrease the failed attempts of turn-taking. The discussion covers the possibilities of using paired devices to describe participants’ behaviors related to turn-taking quantitatively.