University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

Guidelines for researchers and practitioners designing software and software trials for children with autism

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Assistive Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2010


This article presents practical guidelines for the design of interactive software for children with autism. Many existing software design techniques rely on social interaction and so are not appropriate for this group, and little practical guidance is available. The guidelines presented are based on research experiences during the development of an interactive software game called TouchStory, which was designed to promote an understanding of narrative structure while adapting to the learning needs of individual children with autism. Our results indicate that some children with autism were actively engaged in self-directed, curiosity-driven learning, and found TouchStory enjoyable, even after repeated exposures on as many as 20 occasions. The guidelines are not limited to the appearance and behaviour of the software system, and may be fundamental to the research questions asked and the approach adopted. They provide a useful basis for furthering our understanding of the provision of assistive technology for children with autism.

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