FaceMaze Game Helps Children with Autism
Advances in technology are changing the lives of people with disabilities, including people with autism. Recently, a “hackathon” was held where smartphone app developers created over 400 ideas for new applications to assist people with autism, ranging from apps that help teach life skills to others that help students with autism visualize information in different ways. Other smartphone apps have also been in the news recently, to help people with disabilities use these now ubiquitous devices.
However, not all autism technological advances are via smartphone. Researchers at the University of Victoria have developed a new software program called FaceMaze, a game which aims to help children with autism improve their facial recognition skills and learn to “speak” the language of smiles and frowns. In the game, children must match their facial expressions with the ones shown on virtual characters on the screen in order to advance through the game. The goal is to help children with autism learn how to participate in and react to social situations, and so far in clinical trials it seems to be working, with improvement found after only 20 hours of game play.
For more information about FaceMaze, or if your child is interested in participating, visit: http://web.uvic.ca/~carte/research.html