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Augmented Reality-based Graphics Application to Assist Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Design Graphics Division Technical Session 2: VR, AR, and CAD

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Engineering Design Graphics

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Ashayla Williams


Magesh Chandramouli Purdue University Northwest Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Chandramouli is an Associate Professor of Computer Graphics Technology in Purdue University Northwest. Dr. Chandramouli has been invited to deliver keynote speeches and guest lectures in various countries around the world. Formerly a Frederick Andrews Fellow at Purdue University, West Lafayette, he completed his doctoral studies from the Department of Computer Graphics Technology. He completed Master of Engineering at the National University of Singapore and Master of Science from the University of Calgary, Canada. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, India. Dr. Chandramouli has published journal articles in prestigious international journals and has presented papers in respected national and international conferences. He has received federal, regional, and international grants for his work in areas including virtual reality, STEM education, Human Computer Interaction, and Genetic Algorithms in Graphics.

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Augmented Reality (AR) technology involves the integration of virtual objects and other digital content including images with physical or real-world content. AR technology functions in multifarious ways to integrate such virtual and real content by superimposing or overlaying them. Research evidence supports the potential applications of AR in engaging children in learning, especially for children with disabilities. Augmented Reality can be used to engage children with ASD as it offers a fun and safe environment for the child to learn, play, and grow. It allows a better understanding of the content through visual and learning experiences. This paper proposes the design and implementation of a preliminary prototype to assist children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to recognize and acquire social-emotional skills. Social-Emotional skills are essential to a child's developmental growth. A child facing challenges in emotional development may potentially face problems in social situations also. Social-emotional skills include the child's ability to recognize their feelings, the feelings of others, and maintain effective relationships. Evidence shows that children with autism have trouble recognizing social cues, emotions, and facial expressions. We propose to develop a game that combines elements of observational learning (attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation) and augmented reality to assist children with autism in recognizing emotions in social situations. The prototype involves four everyday problems the fictional 3D character faces-like overcoming fears, using manners, playing with others, and sharing. The framework facilitates the child to solve each problem and move on to the next scene. The problem narration involves the fictional character displaying four key emotional states: happiness, sadness, fear, and anger. The narrator will instruct the child to perform interactions between AR character and scene objects such as; drag & drop, pointing, holding, and tapping. The child will then be rewarded for completing each task and is allowed to advance to the following scene. Augmented reality allows prominent features to be highlighted to enhance the attention and motivation of the child. It additionally will allow the child to demonstrate the learned skill in a safe controlled environment. Elements such as color, music, animation, and text will also be used as a way to motivate the child in acquiring new skills. The skills attained will also improve cognitive skills. Evidence shows Autism is identified as the third most important population needing attention. This application will provide developing children with autism the attention and nurture needed in key areas of their developmental growth so that they will thrive in social environments.

Williams, A., & Chandramouli, M. (2021, July), Augmented Reality-based Graphics Application to Assist Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36732

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