Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 12, pp 3862–3869 | Cite as

Brief Report: A Pilot Summer Robotics Camp to Reduce Social Anxiety and Improve Social/Vocational Skills in Adolescents with ASD

  • Juhi R. Kaboski
  • Joshua John Diehl
  • Jane Beriont
  • Charles R. Crowell
  • Michael Villano
  • Kristin Wier
  • Karen Tang
Brief Report

Abstract

This pilot study evaluated a novel intervention designed to reduce social anxiety and improve social/vocational skills for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The intervention utilized a shared interest in robotics among participants to facilitate natural social interaction between individuals with ASD and typically developing (TD) peers. Eight individuals with ASD and eight TD peers ages 12–17 participated in a weeklong robotics camp, during which they learned robotic facts, actively programmed an interactive robot, and learned “career” skills. The ASD group showed a significant decrease in social anxiety and both groups showed an increase in robotics knowledge, although neither group showed a significant increase in social skills. These initial findings suggest that this approach is promising and warrants further study.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Intervention Treatment Robotics Vocational Social skills 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juhi R. Kaboski
    • 1
  • Joshua John Diehl
    • 1
  • Jane Beriont
    • 1
  • Charles R. Crowell
    • 1
  • Michael Villano
    • 1
  • Kristin Wier
    • 1
  • Karen Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Children and FamiliesUniversity of Notre DameSouth BendUSA

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