Autism is one word that includes a wide variety of different disorder. Despite this fact we can identify that Autistic children suffer from a communication disabilities. Some autistic children cannot express their feeling and even not to understand them. Autistic children can be under much stress while no one can notice until the child experiencing “melt-down”. Occupational therapists that work with autistic children are trying to help those children to gain and obtain everyday life activities.
Tell includes the Empatica wristband (start-up product for physical parameter detection) and the iPhone application (For the OT and the caregiver). When the child get stressed during therapy session the OT phone vibrate twice and if the child is calming down the phone vibrates ones. During everyday life the, while the caregiver spend time with the child, the caregiver gets a phone notification on a stress event and can document it so the OT will be able to get the information on real time and discuss about it with the caregiver before and after sessions
Interface and interaction modality
The application that takes action during session also provide advanced services to the OT after and before session. After session the OT can fill up the stress event. According to Emmanuelle Rossini, an OT that works with autistic children, all the “melt-down” events need to be documented after session. This function is available in the Tell Application, furthermore, the application provides to each stress event the physical information pushed from the wristband, for example: the stress level, the length of the stress event and the time it took the child to calm down. This information is highly important for the OT to keep track on the behavior pattens and to understand and analyze the child’s needs and progress. Also the App provides a sensitivity list that includes the stress triggers and the sensitivity level to each trigger. This list can be edited and managed also in the caregiver side application. Moreover, the OT can monitor the child passed week with the number and severity of stress events that the child experienced and more information which provided by the care giver application before and after sessions.
The Caregiver application is the last piece to complete the communication map and provide an everyday life solution. While the child spend time with the caregiver and wearing the wristband, the caregiver will get phone notification whenever the child is under stress. This notification aim to effect in two ways The caregiver can help the child and prevent a “melt-down” The caregiver can document the event, add or change the sensitivity list which will update the therapist app. Usually before the child’s session starts the OT has a short discussion with the caregiver, In this point they can use the application data for review the stress event and sensitivity list.
Hardware and Electronics
Empatica startup company is the only company in the world (currently) that produce and sell wristbands that measures heartbeat, galvanic skin and temperature. The company main market at the moment is the academy research field. Empatics accepted our request for collaboration and was willing to provide us one wristband to create iPhone application that can communicate with the wristband (base on their API) and vibrate whenever the child is stressed.
Empatica company also provides a base software to collect the inputs from the wristband. Therefore the first action that have been made with the wristband was to test it with different people in different situation and see the patterns and the difference of the values
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