During May we carried out a preliminar evaluation of the game “Pico’s Adventure”. The study involved 10 boys within the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (mean age: 5,3; SD:0,94 ) and was carried on at the Hospital Sant Joan de Deu. The goals of the study were: to evaluate the likeness of the game, to analyze whether it triggers behaviors related with social initiation (such as asking for help, requesting something or sharing commentaries) and eventually to improve its design.
Preliminary results proceeding from field observation showed a general good acceptance of the game by the children. Several behaviors associated with social interaction were observed, such as: social smiling, visual contact, vocalization directed toward adults and game’s character, use of descriptive gestures, imitation, use of social expressions, pointing, sharing of emotions, initiation of social interaction (i.e. call the attention of the parents when something interesting happens), response to social interaction and collaboration through regulatory and illustrative social interactions (i.e. they explained or indicated how to do something to another child).
Taking into account these results we consider that the preliminary study showed encouraging outcomes in terms of children’s acceptance of the game and in relation to promotion of social initiation. We are currently carrying a follow-up study aimed toward validating the effectiveness of the game and comparing baseline