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Self-controlled technologies to support skill attainment in persons with an autism spectrum disorder and/or an intellectual disability: a systematic literature review

Publicatie van: Den Brok WL(1), Sterkenburg PS.


Persons with an autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual disability have difficulties in processing information, which impedes the learning of daily living skills and cognitive concepts. Technological aids support learning, and if used temporarily and in a self-controlled manner, they may contribute to independent societal participation. This systematic review examines the studies that applied self-controlled technologies. The 28 relevant studies showed that skills and concepts are learned through prompting, interaction with devices, and practicing in (realistic) virtual environments. For attaining cognitive concepts, advanced technologies such as virtual reality are effective. Five studies focussed on cognitive concepts and two on emotion concepts. More research isnecessary to examine the generalization of results and effect of using technology for learning cognitive and emotional concepts. Implications for Rehabilitation Persons with a moderate to mild intellectual disability and/or with autism can use self-controlled technology to learn new activities of daily living and cognitive concepts (e.g. time perception and imagination). Specific kinds of technologies can be used to learn specific kinds of skills (e.g. videos on computers or handheld devices for daily living skills; Virtual Reality for time perception and emotions of others). For learning new cognitive concepts it is advisable to use more advanced technologies as they have the potential to offer more features to support learning.

In: Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2015 Jan;10(1):1-10. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2014.921248. Epub 2014 May 22.