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“Just-in-Time” Supports: Delivery and Use through Wearable Technology

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Aim: The effect of “Just-In-Time” (JIT) visual supports delivered through wearable technology (i.e., the Apple Watch®) on the language of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) was investigated. JITs may increase a mentor’s ability to capitalize on teachable moments, bypass working memory deficits of individuals with ASD, and support learner independence. This pilot study aimed to (a) examine the effects of providing scene cues in a JIT manner on language comprehension (e.g., following novel directions) and (b) test the feasibility of the procedures.

Methods: A non-concurrent multiple baseline design across five participants with ASD (ages 6 – 21) was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Participants were given a series of ten spoken novel directives, and provided with scene cues (e.g., a photograph of a toy dog placed on a car) on the Apple Watch as needed (i.e., following the unsuccessful completion of spoken target directives). When participants demonstrated difficulty with a static cue, the corresponding dynamic cue (e.g., a video of a toy dog being placed on a car) was presented. Successful completion of directives was analyzed across conditions.

Results: Preliminary results suggest that the use of static and dynamic scene cues, presented on the Apple Watch, increased the accuracy of direction following.

Conclusions: Preliminary results of this study suggest that scene cues can be successfully delivered via the Apple Watch in a JIT manner. Use of wearable technology as a delivery medium for JITs may improve receptive skills, behavioral responses, and independence of individuals with ASD.

Author(s):

Amanda O'Brien    
Boston Children's Hospital
United States

Howard Shane    
Boston Children's Hospital
United States

Ralf Schlosser    
Northeastern University
United States

Jennifer Abramson    
Boston Children's Hospital
United States

Anna Allen    
Boston Children's Hospital
United States

Suzanne Flynn    
Boston Children's Hospital
United States

Katherine Dimery    
Boston Children's Hospital
United States

 

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