Tablets for two: how dual tablets can facilitate other-awareness and communication in learning disabled children with autism

Holt, Samantha and Yuill, Nicola (2017) Tablets for two: how dual tablets can facilitate other-awareness and communication in learning disabled children with autism. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 11. pp. 72-82. ISSN 2212-8689

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Learning-disabled children with autism (LDA) are impaired in other-awareness, joint attention and imitation, with a poor prognosis for developing language competence. However, better joint attention and imitation skills are predictors of increased language ability. Our study demonstrates that a collaborative activity delivered on a novel dual-tablet configuration (two wifi-linked tablets) facilitates active other-awareness, incorporating imitation and communicative behaviour, in 8 LDA boys with limited or no language, aged 5 - 12 years. LDA children did a picture-sequencing activity using single and linked dual tablets, partnered by an adult or by an LDA peer. Overall, the dual-tablet configuration generated significantly more active other-awareness than children sharing a single tablet. Active other-awareness was observed in LDA peer partnerships using dual tablets, behaviour absent when peer partnerships shared a single tablet. Dual tablets facilitated more communicative behaviour in adult-child partnerships than single tablets. Hence, supporting collaborative activities in LDA children can facilitate other-awareness and communicative behaviour and adult and peer partnerships make different, but essential contributions to social-cognitive development through the collaborative process.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Autism; Tablet technology; Collaboration; Other-awareness; Imitation; Communication
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Research Centres and Groups: Developmental and Clinical Psychology Research Group
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0712 Developmental psychology Including infant psychology, child psychology, adolescence, adulthood
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ0052 Therapeutics
Depositing User: Nicola Yuill
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2016 11:53
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 09:47

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