Social play is key for successful inclusion of children with disabilities and has significant impact on their wellbeing and development. Typical traits in autism, such as impaired social and communication skills and repetitive behaviours, make social play particularly challenging for children diagnosed on the spectrum, exposing them to a wide range of mental health risks. This project investigates how technology can help support social play activities in mixed, co-located groups of autistic and neuro-typical children, aged 6 to 8 years. We aim to develop smart play objects, which can intelligently react to social situations to scaffold interactive play experiences of autistic children and their typically developing peers. For such objects to be meaningful to different children, it is key to involve them actively in their design.
Project Homepage: http://socialplay.at
With OutsideTheBox we will think laterally and outside of typical boxes and categorisations. We will design new technologies with autistic children which are not exclusively driven by functional limitations, but engage children in all their diversity and with all their differences.
Project Homepage: http://outsidethebox.at