Two-Player Web Based Games for High-Functioning Autistic Children
Autism refers to a range of pervasive developmental disorders marked by social and communication impairments, along with engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. This paper presents a progress report on FLOW (Flexibility Learning on the Web), a project centered on developing cooperative, two-player, web-based games to improve behavioral and social functioning of high-functioning elementary-school-aged autistic children (including Asperger’s Syndrome). FLOW games will target these rigid/repetitive activity patterns. The games have the potential to increase the academic functioning of the children by improving their ability to handle changes in routine, improve social behavior by engendering greater flexibility in their social interactions, and sharpen problem-solving skills by requiring children to solve problems cooperatively. The team working on the project includes undergraduate computer science and new media majors at the State University of New York, College at Purchase with guidance from autism, special education and information technology experts. The presentation will introduce the rational for the games, a demo of an early version of our first game, some discussion of the application architecture for the project, and plans for future development and testing.
Keywords: Online Learning, Autism, Cooperative, Asperger, Rigidity, Two-Player Games
Prof Peter Ohring
Associate Professor, Departments of Mathematics/Computer Science and New Media, State University of New York, College at Purchase