Robots help autistic children

With all the research being conducted around autism, (trying to detect it earlier using biomarkers, therapy sessions, and trying to make life easier for the autistic child by engaging them in society) it's been found that sometimes, humans are not enough to solve the problem and so they've sought the help of robots. Yes, you've read that correctly, robots. 



Diagnosed from early childhood, children with autism are restricted with a mental condition that prevents them from communications, expressing themselves and forming relationships with other people (adults and other children). Autistic children also have troubles with language and communicating abstract concepts.

So to try and find a better method of treatment for the children, researchers at the Universidad Miguel Hern├índez (UMH) and AISOY Robotics are working together to expand the potential of their robot assistant for the treatment of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

Welcome AISOY1 to the scene. AISOY1 is a cute little robot which is helping therapists in treating autistic children. AISOY1 forms emotional relationships with children and he provides a new method of thinking and play via fun educational games and activities which target a range of different skills.  The kids being treated then "develop their social, cognitive, motor and emotional skills, increasing their self-confidence, security and autonomy."

Acting as the therapist's assistant, AISOY1 will bring additional benefits to autism therapy sessions. Comprising of three-way tasks between the autistic child, therapist and robot, the interactions produced between the trio will be examined and if proven successful, robots will be used in therapy sessions for other problems such as ADHD, hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms. Since January 2017, the approved and specialised autism software for the AISOY robot has been available for use by both parents and therapists. 


Even though human intervention is seen as the most "reliable" form of treatment, it wouldn't hurt if we relied on robots to help us in research and methods of treatment for whatever condition a person has; as long as there are guidelines to the usage of robots and their degree of involvement. 

On another note...

In this article, I have been avoiding using the term "special needs" as it's not a term I would like to use for children or even adults with specific conditions. A new "term" that Dubai has given to people with special needs or a disability as people of determination. This is a fantastic term which perfectly describes people of determination and their struggle and process to live as normal people in society.

P.S. This isn't the first time I've posted about robots, I've written about origami robots for surgical applications and robots that study host-microbiome interactions.
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Image: https://pixabay.com/en/hand-robot-human-divine-spark-1571852/

Reference: Asociaci├│n RUVID. (2016, September 16). Meet AISOY1 the Robot, autism therapy assistant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 3, 2017, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160916093130.htm
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