Robot-Assisted Technology: Social Skills Tools for Autism

As artificial intelligence and assistive technology become more prevalent in our modern world, more children receive the benefits, especially in education! Robot-Assisted Instruction, in particular, can be utilized to support the development of children with autism.

Robots have proven to help children with autism make significant progress learning cognitive, social, communication, and even sensory-integration skills. Observations have found that children have learned to become more comfortable and confident in facing their fears, anxieties, frustrations, and challenges by interacting and working with robots.

These findings imply the limitless value robotics and artificial intelligence can have in improving the lives of children with autism spectrum disorder.

The Need for AI Robots

Robots can help children with autism spectrum disorder communicate and relate to others by explicitly teaching and practicing the rules and norms of social communication. Robots tend to make it easier for them to adjust to interacting with others in a more organic environment, likely because children can learn and practice to understand social nuances before engaging in them independently.

Interactive Robots for Autistic Children 6-10 Years Old

Naturally, when young children collaborate with peers in a social or group-based situation, they learn how to communicate, cooperate, negotiate, and solve problems. The Robot-Assisted Instruction system is effective in helping children with autism with this socialization. Robots used as an assistive technology tool for six to ten-year-old children with autism can be programmed to help them navigate social situations with less pressure. Robots reduce childrens’ anxiety and fear of making mistakes as they are nonjudgmental and do not have expectations of the child. They are designed to help accelerate learning cognitive and social interaction skills for children with autism so they too can feel comfortable collaborating and communicating with others. 

Students can learn social skills through RAI to practice how to communicate with others. They can learn skills explicitly then practice through role playing or listening to social stories. The instructional system has a pre-programmed set of verbal replies and body movements that respond to the child’s specific needs. Once children feel comfortable expressing themselves, they can move on to working with higher levels of instruction that involve using the social skills they’ve acquired to interact more with their family, friends, and caregivers.

The Future of Robotic Assistive Technology

Artificially intelligent robots can invite children with autism to learn and practice new skills collaboratively. Roboticists are doing their part by providing these children with better opportunities in education and personal development. With further research and development, robotic assistive technology will allow RAI to improve, and best practices can be programmed to aid children with autism to generalize their learned skills to more organic life situations.  Children with autism can benefit a great deal from using robots to help them interact more effectively and independently.

Give your child the best instruction they need to remove barriers to learning, socializing, and adapting to real-life situations. MOVIA Robotics helps children with autism and other special needs unlock their full potential. Visit us here to learn more and schedule a call today!

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