University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 30th IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 May 2022


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often struggle with visual perspective taking (VPT) skills and the understanding that others might have viewpoints and perspectives that are different from their own; i.e. the ability to understand what another individual can and cannot see, or the ability to understand that two or more people looking at the same object from different positions might not see the same thing. This could be improved by introducing explicit causal explanations in the interactions involving autistic children. The use of social robots can help autistic children improve their social skills and the robot Kaspar, used in this study, is a humanoid robot specifically designed to interact with children with ASD. The aim of this retrospective study is to define the initial protocol of a study on the effect of causal explanation provided by Kaspar on VPT. To this end, we investigate in which categories of behaviors or scenarios, causal explanations either by researchers or by Kaspar play a more significant role. The results have helped us identify multiple interaction categories that benefit from causal explanation, mostly involving VPT. We now use these results in order to create and validate behaviors and interactions that can help children with autism better understand VPT by exploiting causality.

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