HONG KONG, April 22 (Reuters) – A Hong Kong professor has developed an educational programme using role-playing robots to help children with autism improve their social skills, part of an initiative adopted by non-profit groups and schools.

The programme, Robot for Autism Behavioral Intervention (RABI), is designed for people with autism between the ages of 3 and 18, and aims to help them be more social and to resolve issues such as conflicts and bullying.

Catherine So, associate professor of educational psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told Reuters more than 1,200 children have used the programme since its 2015 launch.

“Individuals with autism have low motivation to interact with others, and hypersensitivity to the world around them,” So said. “So we use the social robots to teach them social skills in order to reduce their anxiety.”

The robots engage the children with role-playing and verbal interaction. A typical class involves two small robots acting out social scenarios on a table top, helping the children see the difference between appropriate and unacceptable behaviour such as tantrums or screaming.

Muse Wong, 41, said her 5-year-old daughter has been in the programme for seven months and her social and communicative skills have improved vastly.

“She has started to have some degree of social life”, Wong said.

After interacting with the robots, the children are encouraged to try out their social skills with a human tutor.

More than 20 non-profit groups financed by governments and public schools in Hong Kong and Macau have adopted the programme. So hopes the project will help fight against exclusion.

“We believe RABI can help children with autism improve their social and behavioural skills, and in turn enhance the quality of their life”, she said.

Reporting by Yoyo Chow; Editing by Karishma Singh and Gerry Doyle
Catherine & bots

新網頁!

創立社會企業,始終與創辦人本身做的學術研究有分別。為了反映我們改變服務自閉症學童的方式,我們的網頁也做了個大翻身,今天開張,期盼能夠幫助更多自閉症學童。

我們的新網站叫 star-autism.com:STAR 就是我們社企的公司英文名稱 (Science and Technology for Autism Remediation Limited) 簡稱,而 “autism” 就是自閉症的關鍵詞,協助我們的服務對象搜尋和記憶。

 

閱讀更多 »

研究團隊與 NECHK 合作

我們已於5月28日舉行新聞發布會,宣布我們隸屬的中大香港教育學院與NECHK之間的合作。我們還宣布啟動針對自閉症兒童的機械人介入計劃。我們感激嘉賓參加我們新聞發布會。

家長簡報會 2018

我們的家長簡報會圓滿完成。我們感謝家長們時間和精力參加我們簡報會。許多家長已經報名我們的服務。現在只剩下少量空缺。我們將在5月18日結束我們的報名。已報名的家長們請按時帶小朋友接受服務前評估。