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Robot-Assisted Training for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review

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An array of developmental disorders known collectively as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that can cause significant social interaction, communication, and behavioral challenges. To remedy this autistic impact at its very early stage, researchers are focusing their attention on robotics research with humanoid robots. It has been claimed that under certain circumstances, children with ASD (CwASD) interact more actively and spontaneously with robots than humans. Therefore, Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) has become a beneficial approach in training CwASD to abate their autism disabilities. This paper extensively reviews the prior findings on HRI for CwASD. With some critical analysis, a couple of findings have been highlighted to address the research gaps on the effectiveness of the intervention sessions administered by the robots. A total of nine traits of autism, intervention sessions administered by various tasks, different types of robots used, number of CwASD’s along with their age, diagnosis methods applied to quantify the autism levels, and, finally, the outcomes with identified research gaps have been analyzed. With some comparative depictions, the reader can visualize the broad scenario and overall research condition of robot-assisted training (RAT) for CwASD. This review recommends employing robots in supervised applications to enhance therapeutic effectiveness, broaden acquiescence, and inspire trust among practitioners, CwASD, and guardians. Overall, RAT is a promising use for intelligent social robots, especially for helping CwASD achieve therapeutic and educational goals. We expect interdisciplinary collaboration to address its difficulties quickly.

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All authors contributed to the formulation and blueprint of the manuscript. Md. Ariful Islam has made a significant contribution to the hypothesis or layout of the article. He collected, analysed, and interpreted the data from different research articles to formulate a summary and to create a roadmap for future researchers. Also, he drafted the article sequentially. Md Mehedi Hasan has revised the article and reviewed many important articles to make the review paper stronger. He also ensured the solution of questions related to the integrity of the review paper. Shamim Ahmed Deowan revised it critically for essential cognitive content and ratified the version to be published. He also provided an innovative idea to make the review paper more attractive to readers. The author(s) read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shamim Ahmed Deowan.

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Islam, M.A., Hasan, M.M. & Deowan, S.A. Robot-Assisted Training for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review. J Intell Robot Syst 108, 41 (2023).

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