Platform using Artificial intelligence to improve Social Skills for Autism

Erasmus+ / KA220-ADU - Cooperation partnerships in adult education

The diagnoses of children with autism are constantly increasing. By educating their parents, we are helping a growing population that thinks in a different way to be an active part of the society. Parents have great connections with their children and also have a better picture of the daily challenges and know what triggers a child's disruptive behaviour and what elicits positive responses.

The main motivation for PASS4Autism is to give parents a tool that will help both parents and children with ASD to actively participate in the community. This will be achieved by increasing social skills that will also improve the integration of people with ASD within various life contexts. The tool is based on stories like social stories which is a means with a strict structure, so when children become familiar with these stories the social condition will be clearer making their environment more affordable. Through social stories it is possible to modify dysfunctional behaviours and foster the learning of adaptive skills. Most technological applications focus on improving learning disabilities and have not concerned improving social skills. PASS4Autism will develop educational material and a software application with a strong focus on social stories, helping address social dysfunction. This will be achieved via developing an application that will help parents and therapists build custom social stories, which are easily accessible tools that can be used by everyone.

The application will integrate a set of functionalities assisted by appropriate recommendation mechanisms in order to address in the best way each child’s special needs and will be accessible from everyone and everywhere. It has been found that children diagnosed with autism tend to learn better visually (Grandin, 2006). This suggests that the effectiveness of Social Stories can be enhanced by providing images or models during the presentation of the intervention. According to Temple Grandin, people with autism translate spoken and written language into colourful movies. When someone addresses them, his words are automatically translated into images (Grandin, 1995). The method of social stories largely reflects this particular way of thinking and consequently the way of learning. Social stories present information visually (+clear and reassuring manner wiki), e.g., leveraging objects, photographs, images, symbols and words to create a narrative. The presentation of visual information through Social Stories seems to be the key to success (Gray, 1994).

Finally, PASS4Autism will try to suffocate the negative feelings that parents have and are mainly derived from the stress to address their children’s needs providing them a support networking tool.