Design and Research Methods

The project “Pico’s Adventure” aims at scaffolding social interaction between an ASD children and somebody else (e.g. a parent, caregivers or another ASD child) and promoting behaviors relared with social initiation.

In order to develop the game experts from Sant Joan de Deu Hospital defined requirements related with therapeutic goals and techniques. Subsequently we used methods proceeding from participatory design to include children contributions in the design process. Four children worked with us as “co-designers” to transform defined goals into an enjoyable playful experience.
The merging of experts and children contributions allowed to design a game that meets therapeutic requirements and that is enjoyable for children.


The game has been evaluated in two stages: a first exploratory stage aimed at evaluating its acceptance by the child, and a second experimental study oriented at assessing the effectiveness of the game in trigger target behaviors related with social initiation.

Results from the first 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 out the analysis of the second study, which will be published soon.