S6-GAM2-1 - AssociAR: Gamified Process for the Teaching of Children with Autism Through the Association of Images and Words

1. Innovative Practice Full Paper
Jhemeson Silva Mota1 , Kennedy Santos Torres2, Heloise Acco Tives Leão2, Edna Dias Canedo1
1 University of Brasilia
2 Lutheran University Center of Palmas

This Full Paper describes AssociAR,  a gamified process for the teaching of children with autism through the association of images and words. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that has the following possible symptoms: deficient language; cognitive problems; repetition of decontextualized words (echolalia); extreme passivity or hyperactivity; poor eye contact; absence of social interaction; and stereotyped interests. As for the learning process of these children, it is known that the use of consistent repetitions helps in the learning of people with autism and, in addition, that combinations of images with words are one of the main means of aid in learning for autistic people. Augmented Reality (AR) is a digital resource that acts as an way of visualizing virtual elements, often three-dimensional (3D), together with the real environment. Through the use of AR the acquisition of knowledge becomes more efficient and pleasant as this technology makes the interaction of the learner with objects related to learning more practical and engaging. For these reasons, this resource offers “enormous educational potential” when used in conjunction with gamification. In such a way, this work aims to implement a gamified project using augmented reality to assist in the learning process of children with ASD. The project was implemented in "Cri.Ativa", the psychopedagogical care room of a child development center that provides multidisciplinary care for children with atypical development especially for children on the autism spectrum in Palmas, Brazil. This work seeks to gamify an activity already used in the development center that, according to the previously cited references, is one of the main means of assisting learning for children in the autistic spectrum: the association of images and words. In general, it is considered that the objective of the work was achieved because the desired process was gamified and the results obtained by its implementation were positive. However, it is important to highlight that, due to the huge number of possible characteristics for children with ASD, this result does not demonstrate that the application of the described process will have equally positive outcomes in all contexts.