A Framework for Designing an Augmented Reality Application Focusing on Object Function for Children with Autism

Headed by Dr. Ummul Hanan Binti Mohamad.

Geran Galakan Penyelidikan (GGP)

 

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) greatly affects a child’s ability to learn, communicate and socialize with others. Thus, early intervention is carried out to help alleviate these problems from dominating throughout a person’s life. Among important milestones in the early intervention is to help the children recognize an object and understanding its function. However, a preliminary observation revealed that some children with ASD cannot identify the object’s function during intervention activities that use paper-based visuals aids. Hence, there is a need to find a more effective way to foster visual learning for these children. Augmented reality is seen as one of the potential intervention tools for this purpose. As such, having the advantages of interactivity to catch the attention while allowing better visualization of the objects to facilitate understanding of the object’s function. Yet, studies on how the AR-based approach can be used in autism’s early intervention have been given less attention so far.  Therefore, this study aims to devise a framework for designing an augmented reality (AR)-based application that focuses on object function. Then, a prototype will be developed to test and evaluate the framework. The output from this study can be used as an early intervention tool for children with ASD and potentially opens more paths towards integrating technology-assisted tools for other developmental disorders. To accentuate, this study supports the local initiative by Early Autism Project Malaysia to provide world-class access to research-proven therapy for children with autism. This study is also on par with the global Sustainable Development Goal 2030 intending to ‘Leave No One Behind’ by ensuring the inclusion of all in obtaining health, education and social wellbeing.