Robots can help children with autism spectrum disorder communicate and relate to others by explicitly teaching and practicing the rules and norms of social communication.
The Nao smart robot tends to make it easier for them to adjust to interacting with others in a more organic environment, likely because children can learn and practice understanding social nuances before engaging in them independently.
Interactive Robots for Autistic Children 6-10 Years Old
Naturally, when young children collaborate with peers in a social or group-based situation, they learn how to communicate, cooperate, negotiate, and solve problems. The Robot-Assisted Instruction system is effective in helping children with autism with this socialization.
Robots used as an assistive technology tool for six to ten-year-old children with autism can be programmed to help them navigate social situations with less pressure. Robots reduce childrens’ anxiety and fear of making mistakes as they are nonjudgmental and do not have expectations of the child.
They are designed to help accelerate learning cognitive and social interaction skills for children with autism so they too can feel comfortable collaborating and communicating with others.
Students can learn social skills through RAI to practice how to communicate with others. They can learn skills explicitly then practice through role-playing or listening to social stories. The instructional system has a pre-programmed set of verbal replies and body movements that respond to the child’s specific needs.
Once children feel comfortable expressing themselves, they can move on to working with higher levels of instruction that involve using the social skills they’ve acquired to interact more with their family, friends, and caregivers.