Rome – At Maker Faire +Me, to improve interpersonal and communication skills in children with autism
At the MAKER FAIRE, which concluded Sunday at LA SAPIENZA, there was a Turkish girl’s project, Beste Özcan, that he presented “+ME” Is a wearable interactive transitional product that aims to To improve relational and communication skills in children with autism. Project now being carried out with the ISTC-CNR.
Such a product is presented as A pillow to be worn around the neck, to be squeezed, hugged (in the style of the “Linus blanket”), and that emits stimuli that are pleasing and interesting to the autistic child (sounds and lights), based on the manipulation that is done on it. The strength of the “+me” object is that the therapist (or parent) can influence the functional behavior of the “+me” through a tablet application. For example, a “+me” pillow that glows red when touched (interesting stimulus), may change to the color green if the therapist intervenes with his tablet; the moment the child understands that in order to get the welcome stimulus again, he must interact not only with the object, by touching it, but also with the therapist, then an initial social relationship is established. Based on this interactive process, the child will then be actively pushed to communicate and consequently relate to the outside world.
An additional function of the pillow is to become a familiar object that the child seeks as a soother under stressful situations (change of place). Testing on a first group of children, at the INI Villa Dante center, is imminent, and will ascertain the validity of the idea.