Engaging Autistic Children in Imitation and Turn-Taking Games with Multiagent System of Interactive Lighting Blocks

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Abstract

In this paper game scenarios that aim to establish elements of cooperative play such as imitation and turn taking between children with autism and a caregiver are investigated. Multiagent system of interactive blocks is used to facilitate the games. The training elements include verbal description followed by imitation of video-modeled play episodes. By combining this method with the tangible multiagent platform of interactive blocks (i-blocks) children with autism could imitate play episodes that involved turn taking with a caregiver. The experiment showed that most of the children managed to imitate the play scenarios after video modeling, and repeat the behaviors with the tangible and appealing block platform. When all the actions were well understood by the autistic children, they performed willingly turn taking cooperative behaviors, which they normally do not do.