Augmented reality for speech and language intervention in autism spectrum disorder
MetadataShow full item record
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with a complex profile of individual strengths and atypical behaviors, but generally show a weakness in social communication and attention with a preference for visual stimuli (Bryan & Gast, 2000; Cihak et al., 2016; Rayner, Denholm, & Sigafoos, 2009). New technology may be able to address communication needs and support by building on strengths in a flexible and engaging manner. The purpose of this project is to explore the potential use of augmented reality (AR, (Craig, 2013)) as a tool for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to use in the therapeutic setting. Research shows several applications of AR to improve language and communication skills in individuals with ASD, including in the areas of emotion identification, vocabulary learning, and developing foundation play skills. Positive outcomes from AR use may include increased motivation, attention, and learning new tasks. Benefits are weighed against the limitations of the use of emerging technology, with recommendations provided for clinicians. A guide is provided to give SLPs step-by-step instructions for creating simple AR-based materials to use in the clinical setting, with suggestions for utilization and application of such materials. AR shows promise as a means to increase engagement for some clients with ASD; a practical guide may make more accessible this tool and provide support for both clinicians and the individuals they treat.