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"Leka" The Robot Helps Autistic Children Enhance Social & Cognitive Skills

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posted on Jun, 27 2016 @ 09:52 PM
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From:
TRUE ACTIVIST
By Brianna Acuesta
16 June 2016
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Alternate source: LIVE SCIENCE: "Robotic Toy 'Leka' Designed for Kids with Autism'
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www.livescience.com...
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For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), connecting with others and interpreting social cues can be enormously challenging. ASD describes a collection of neurodevelopmental disorders relating to communication difficulties and characterized by repetitive behaviors, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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ASD typically manifests in infancy or early childhood and occurs across ethnic groups, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that it affects approximately 1 in 68 children. Its causes are unknown, though genetics, parental age and exposure to certain pesticides and pharmaceuticals have been suspected to increase a baby's risk of being born with ASD.
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"To see progress, they are required to do the same thing for a long time," de Toldi said. "Always doing the same thing can be hard for a parent or caregiver — but Leka will do the same thing every single time."
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By reliably performing the same actions over and over, a robotic companion like Leka provides the child with a sense of safety, de Toldi explained.
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. . .



The OP article:
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www.trueactivist.com...
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People with autism struggle to handle a variety of stimuli all being thrown at them at once, and without an upbringing that introduces them to each stimulus to help them adjust to it, life can seem pretty hectic and daunting to them.
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So what does Leka do? On the surface it provides fun and educational games for the kids, but it does so much more by sensing the interaction it’s having with the child and reacting accordingly to help the child learn social cues and develop autonomy.
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For example, if Leka is mistreated and thrown to the ground in frustration or anger, it gets sad, which can be seen on its screen because it has different faces, and turns red because that color is typically associated with sadness.
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In response, the child will learn that this behavior of throwing toys and mistreating others is not acceptable and can result in sadness or being hurt. The responses are all pre-programmed and predictable so that the child can get used to the reactions and feel safe in knowing how their actions will affect others.
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Read More: www.trueactivist.com...

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Youtube video:
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www.youtube.com...
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This sounds like a wonderful product that can help bring real progress and growth in a somewhat painless way. YEA! CONGRATS ON THE CREATORS & PRODUCERS.
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It sounds like they did their homework in enlisting a myriad of parents, autistic children, counselors and other experts. I love it when a product is done well.
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I love it when a product helps folks with deficits to expand their options and wealth of responses with which to face daily life.
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It also sounds like it will be growable with new aps.
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And, I love that it can be tailored to each child. And, that it can grow with the child . . . persistently stretching the child's boundaries in good ways.
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I hope that families with autistic children get to use such a product across the board. Maybe those around them who love them can help with the economics of such a purchase. Autistic children are very challenging. Such parents need all the support they can get, imho.
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posted on Jun, 27 2016 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

This is great, I hope it works.



posted on Jun, 27 2016 @ 10:34 PM
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a reply to: tikbalang

It looks like it works well. Time will tell how effective it is with how many.

Thanks for your kind reply.

Cheers.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 12:48 AM
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A wonderful use of robotics! I know that dogs are also used, but you really need to find the right dog for the right person. Robots, on the other hand, can be endlessly tailored.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 12:54 AM
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Interesting.

ASD is what I'm dealing with, with my grandson.

He's been in behavior modification since age 3.

I wonder if this would still be good for an 8 year old.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 12:54 AM
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originally posted by: Byrd
A wonderful use of robotics! I know that dogs are also used, but you really need to find the right dog for the right person. Robots, on the other hand, can be endlessly tailored.


Good insights.

Agreed about dogs and robots.

It sounds like the tailor-made options with this robot have been designed in from the beginning. That's good wisdom, imho.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 01:00 AM
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originally posted by: Annee
Interesting.

ASD is what I'm dealing with, with my grandson.

He's been in behavior modification since age 3.

I wonder if this would still be good for an 8 year old.


It appears to me that it would be.

But I would ask them a lot of questions . . . e.g.

1. Can we get a version that is geared already for a level that my grandson is at? Or, do we have to experiment with it and then download more updated software etc. etc.?

2. How many units are operating with 8 year old's? What have you learned about how 8 year old's interact with it?

3. How many software modules are already geared for 8 year old's? How tailorable are the other foundational modules to the needs and patterns in an 8 year old's habits and thinking?

4. What are the features that you find the unit is most helpful with for 8 year olds?

5. Are there common features of 8 year old's that the unit is not so helpful with?

6. What 3 things do most 8 year old's seem to enjoy most about the robot?

7. Are there any aspects about the robot that 8 year old's tend to be most frustrated with?

8. How much time does an average 8 year old spend interacting with the robot per day?

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I think that their answers to those questions should help you make a solid decision about how worth it the unit might be for your grandson.

Please keep us posted, if you get one.

And the best of growth, health, wholeness and interactive successes with your grandson. Cheers.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 06:51 AM
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posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: Michet

Cute but anemic by comparison.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 12:38 PM
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originally posted by: BO XIAN

Please keep us posted, if you get one.

And the best of growth, health, wholeness and interactive successes with your grandson. Cheers.


He's a pretty mild case IMO - - not that I'm an expert. We were in denial cuz he seemed completely normal to us.

It was first recognized by his preschool teacher before he was 2 years old.

I am very thankful I listened to the teachers and school, even though I fought them a bit. They were right and I was wrong.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 05:52 PM
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originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: BO XIAN

Please keep us posted, if you get one.

And the best of growth, health, wholeness and interactive successes with your grandson. Cheers.


He's a pretty mild case IMO - - not that I'm an expert. We were in denial cuz he seemed completely normal to us.

It was first recognized by his preschool teacher before he was 2 years old.

I am very thankful I listened to the teachers and school, even though I fought them a bit. They were right and I was wrong.


Congrats on rising to the occasion.

I would think that this robot would need to have some higher level functioning software to be worthwhile to your grandson.

I assume, because of the help he's received that he has already learned to assess better facial expressions and emotions on the part of others.

It may well be, Grandma, that you and your person and skills would be of more value to him than the robot.

You might need to research a lot about helping him to mature and refine his empathy and fitting responses thereto.

It might also be useful to research how to help him grow a richer, more elaborate, robust range of responses to other people's emotions and to his own needs for emotional expression in fitting ways.

Thanks for your kind reply.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: BO XIAN

It may well be, Grandma, that you and your person and skills would be of more value to him than the robot.


Probably. He doesn't actually have any social issues or lack of empathy exactly. But, he usually takes charge on the playground.

He's graduated out of behavior modification. He repeated kindergarten to give him another year of maturity.

Right now, he's still in "language". He still can't do a 4 turn talking exchange on a subject that's not his choice. He still tends to slide into "his" world.



posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 08:06 PM
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originally posted by: Annee

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He's graduated out of behavior modification. He repeated kindergarten to give him another year of maturity.


I'm sure that was a very wise move. I think it's a wise move for most boys but particularly one like him.



Right now, he's still in "language". He still can't do a 4 turn talking exchange on a subject that's not his choice. He still tends to slide into "his" world.


Ahhhhhhh . . .

Welll, then, it sounds like you see the parameters you could help him expand.

Perhaps you could consider, if you haven't already . . . get some minimal training--even informal--in helping such a son expand those parameters and skills.

There are a variety of ways to help him catch himself from sliding too quickly and too irretrievably into his own inner world. I'm not up on them but I know they exist.

The language topic stuff should be a bit easier. But again, someone who works in that field could give you the best input.

How does he handle, respond to affection of any sort?

What other aspects can you offer that are attractive to him? You can use those to shape his language behaviors.

Anyway--CONGRATS ON YOUR CARING; ON YOUR PERCEPTIVENESS AND YOUR FAITHFULNESS TO HIS GROWTH AND BETTERMENT. CHEERS!




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