Original Paper

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 157-168

First online:

Multitouch tablet applications and activities to enhance the social skills of children with autism spectrum disorders

  • Juan Pablo HourcadeAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, University of Iowa Email author 
  • , Natasha E. Bullock-RestAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, University of Iowa
  • , Thomas E. HansenAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, University of Iowa

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In spite of great improvements in early diagnosis and interventions, most children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are unlikely to live independently when they reach adulthood. We have been conducting research on novel computer-based interventions with the goal of promoting social skills. Working with 26 children with ASD, their teachers, and other stakeholders, we have iteratively developed a set of activities based on applications that run on multitouch tablets. Our observations suggest these activities increased pro-social behaviors such as collaboration and coordination, augmented appreciation for social activities, and provided children with novel forms of expression.


Children Autism Multitouch Tablet Social skills