Autism is very hard for parents to deal with. The child usually cannot connect emotionally with parents and has a hard time adjusting to social situations. They may not walk or speak until much later than a normal child. At present there is no absolute treatment for autism. Science has come up with something new that may contribute to helping these children. It’s a hi tech robot that can interact with the child.
Scientists at Fort Worth Health Science Center are developing robots to help autistic children. To the kids it’s all fun but to researchers it means an early diagnosis and treatment for affected kids. It’s in the child’s best interested to be
The robot speaks to the child and the child responds. It has life like facial expressions and can move it’s hands and arms. Researchers say if they can look at a marker prior to language development they can diagnose and offer the autistic child treatment earlier. They believe it can be accomplished using the robot.
Electrical engineers have been involved in robotic research for years and now these robots are ready to be used outside the laboratory. The robots can interact with the child and the child regards it as a toy. It’s almost impossible for a autistic child to interact with a human but with a toy it’s fun. Reseachers will collect data gathered by the robot such as the child’s way of moving the body and eyes, that’s very difficult for the human eye to detect.
There has been no absolute method of diagnosing autism before. Traits of autism differ from one child to the next and what works for one child might not work for all. Kids like playing with what they consider as toys and it does them no harm. Researchers hope to have ten children in the research program to work with. The project is slated to go on for a year carried out by a $100,000 grant from the Texas Medical Research Collaborative.
Margaret Whiting , associate professor at the Science Center says she is very impressed with the progress thus far. She hopes the program will give doctors and other professionals who work with autistic children the help they need to treat these children and give them lifetime skills to prepare them for adulthood.
Information from Science Research
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