Interactive Media Systems, TU Vienna

Development of Tests to Evaluate the Sensory Abilities of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

By Elisabeth Söchting, Johannes Hartl, Martin Riederer, Christian Schönauer, Hannes Kaufmann, and Claus Lamm

Abstract

An emerging line of research attempts to reveal underlying mechanisms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by studying differences in sensory processing in individuals with ASD. One sense that has not been studied well yet in this context is proprioception, a sensory system that processes information from muscles and joints about body position and force, and is hypothesized to feed into a body schema that is the foundation for motor planning and purposeful action (praxis). In this paper, we introduce new methods to measure proprioceptive functions of children with ASD. The instruments use force, touch and RGB-D sensors to retrieve data in different test scenarios. Data are transferred to a mobile device or PC and analyzed close to real-time with specifically developed software tools. The instruments were pilot tested with typically developing children to test for functionality and usability of the instruments. They will be used in a larger study with children with ASD.

Reference

E. Söchting, J. Hartl, M. Riederer, C. Schönauer, H. Kaufmann, C. Lamm: "Development of Tests to Evaluate the Sensory Abilities of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder"; Procedia Computer Science, 67 (2015), 193 - 203.

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