|Parents and teachers of children with autism often use several therapeutic interventions, keeping vast records to assess improvement in behavior and learning. They often employ evidence based care techniques which involves the collection and use of vast quantities of personal and research oriented data for the diagnosis and treatment of children with autism. Automated capture technologies and the associated access interfaces for exploring past experiences are particularly promising for monitoring the effectiveness of these interventions for behavioral and learning disabilities in children. Behavioral and learning data can be captured, analyzed, and mined over time to provide valuable evidence to track the progress of any intervention. Prototypes developed for this problem must address both technical and social factors to be successful.
The Autism Research Group at Georgia Tech includes researchers interested in Human Computer Interaction, Design, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Mobile and Wearable Computing. Thus, research originating in this group covers a wide variety of domain problems and methodological approaches. Past and current projects include:
- Ethnographic studies of caregivers of children with autism participating in a variety of therapeutic interventions;
- Focus group discussions focused on social, legal, and procedural implications of use of ubiquitous computing technologies as part of evidence based care;
- Short and long term deployments of technologies supporting the care of children with autism;
- Design and development of collaborative technologies to aid in group discussion of diagnoses and treatment;
- Exploration of learning algorithms to automatically recognize behaviors of children with autism using wearable and environmental sensor streams.
What is autism?
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.