iPads for Autism: A report on the development and efficacy of a new educational app for young children

Susan Fletcher-Watson, Sean T. Hammond, Alice Humphry, Helen Pain

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The Click-East project team have developed a new educational iPad app for toddlers and pre-schoolers with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Now available on iTunes, the app is grounded in research evidence, and aims to promote social attention skills: specifically attention to people and response to social cues. The app is undergoing a clinical trial to explore both its impact on symptoms and behaviours, and family response to the intervention. The presentation will review the theoretical basis of the app and report on the development process, which has incorporated extensive participatory design and pilot testing, as well as advisory input from parents, teachers, therapists, academics and people with ASDs. Issues explored during this stage included: appropriate reward systems, degree of repetition / familiarity, choice of interface, amount and type of multi-sensory content. In addition, some data on game play from the randomised controlled trial will be available. These findings will be evaluated in the context of the advantages and risks of technology-enhanced learning for people with ASDs. Pilot testing and trial data will also cast light on what we understand about learning processes in autism and the teaching of social skills in general.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
EventBritish Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sep 20128 Sep 2012


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom

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