Understanding and Improving Collaborative Skills Among Individuals with ASD in a Distributed Virtual Environment
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) evidence core impairments regarding social interaction and communication. These impairments can inhibit the ability of individuals with ASD from effectively engaging with peers and collaborating on goal-oriented tasks. Recently collaborative virtual environment (CVE) in which individuals with ASD can interact with one another or with a therapist to achieve some common goal has been proposed for social competence interventions (SCI) for these individuals. In this paper, we present the design of a distributed CVE for playing the classic video game pong to be used for SCI. This collaborative game can be played at several different modes ranging from one player against an artificial agent in one computer to two players against each other in two different computers. The system functionality and robustness were validated through a small user study. In the future, this CVE will be evaluated with children and adolescents with ASD.
KeywordsCollaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
This work was supported in part by the National Institute of Health Grant 1R01MH091102-01A1, National Science Foundation Grant 0967170 and the Hobbs Society Grant from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.
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