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Do iPads promote symbolic understanding and word learning in children with autism?

Allen ML, Hartley C, Cain K - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: We also examine the hypothesis that presenting multiple, differently colored, exemplars of a target referent will promote adaptive label generalization compared to the use of a single exemplar.The extent of symbolic understanding did not differ between the two media, and levels of generalization did not differ across conditions.Our findings are discussed in terms of the importance of content to picture-based learning and the potential benefits and challenges of using the Apple iPad as an educational resource for children with ASD.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Lancaster UK.

ABSTRACT
The use of the Apple iPad has skyrocketed in educational settings, along with largely unsubstantiated claims of its efficacy for learning and communication in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we examine whether children with ASD are better able to learn new word-referent relations using an iPad or a traditional picture book. We also examine the hypothesis that presenting multiple, differently colored, exemplars of a target referent will promote adaptive label generalization compared to the use of a single exemplar. Sixteen minimally verbal children with ASD were taught a new word in four within-subjects conditions, which varied by media (iPad vs. book) and content (single vs. multiple exemplar presentation). Children were then tested on the ability to symbolically relate the word to a 3-D referent (real-life depicted object) and generalize it to a differently colored category member (another similarly shaped object). The extent of symbolic understanding did not differ between the two media, and levels of generalization did not differ across conditions. However, presentation of multiple exemplars increased the rate that children with ASD extended labels from pictures to depicted objects. Our findings are discussed in terms of the importance of content to picture-based learning and the potential benefits and challenges of using the Apple iPad as an educational resource for children with ASD.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Example stimuli set.
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Figure 1: Example stimuli set.

Mentions: Stimuli were color photographs presented via picture books and an Apple iPad2, and a variety of familiar and unfamiliar objects (see Figure 1). Four picture books were created – two “Single Exemplar” books (BookS1, BookS2) and two “Multiple Exemplar” books (BookM1, BookM2). Each book contained 13 training pictures and two test pictures. Training pictures were five photographs (sized 15 × 20 cm) of different familiar objects (see Figure 1 for an example) and eight photographs of two unfamiliar objects (four pictures of each). In each book, one unfamiliar object was a ‘target object’ and the other was a ‘distracter object.’ Only one training picture was visible at a time. In the Single Exemplar books, the four training pictures of the target object were identical (e.g., a green rattle toy), as were the four pictures of the distracter object. In the Multiple Exemplar books, the four training pictures of the target object were differently colored (e.g., blue, purple, pink, and brown lemon juicers), but the four pictures of the distracter object were identical. Test pictures were slightly smaller (15 × 10 cm) photographs of the target and distracter objects that were positioned on opposite pages at the end of each book. The reduction in size was necessary to equate the Book and iPad conditions (iPad test pictures had to be smaller in order to fit them both on-screen simultaneously). In the Multiple Exemplar books, the test picture of the target object was the same color as one of the four training variants (selected at random). Additionally, a picture of each target object was printed and laminated for use at the test stages.


Do iPads promote symbolic understanding and word learning in children with autism?

Allen ML, Hartley C, Cain K - Front Psychol (2015)

Example stimuli set.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4325663&req=5

Figure 1: Example stimuli set.
Mentions: Stimuli were color photographs presented via picture books and an Apple iPad2, and a variety of familiar and unfamiliar objects (see Figure 1). Four picture books were created – two “Single Exemplar” books (BookS1, BookS2) and two “Multiple Exemplar” books (BookM1, BookM2). Each book contained 13 training pictures and two test pictures. Training pictures were five photographs (sized 15 × 20 cm) of different familiar objects (see Figure 1 for an example) and eight photographs of two unfamiliar objects (four pictures of each). In each book, one unfamiliar object was a ‘target object’ and the other was a ‘distracter object.’ Only one training picture was visible at a time. In the Single Exemplar books, the four training pictures of the target object were identical (e.g., a green rattle toy), as were the four pictures of the distracter object. In the Multiple Exemplar books, the four training pictures of the target object were differently colored (e.g., blue, purple, pink, and brown lemon juicers), but the four pictures of the distracter object were identical. Test pictures were slightly smaller (15 × 10 cm) photographs of the target and distracter objects that were positioned on opposite pages at the end of each book. The reduction in size was necessary to equate the Book and iPad conditions (iPad test pictures had to be smaller in order to fit them both on-screen simultaneously). In the Multiple Exemplar books, the test picture of the target object was the same color as one of the four training variants (selected at random). Additionally, a picture of each target object was printed and laminated for use at the test stages.

Bottom Line: We also examine the hypothesis that presenting multiple, differently colored, exemplars of a target referent will promote adaptive label generalization compared to the use of a single exemplar.The extent of symbolic understanding did not differ between the two media, and levels of generalization did not differ across conditions.Our findings are discussed in terms of the importance of content to picture-based learning and the potential benefits and challenges of using the Apple iPad as an educational resource for children with ASD.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Lancaster UK.

ABSTRACT
The use of the Apple iPad has skyrocketed in educational settings, along with largely unsubstantiated claims of its efficacy for learning and communication in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we examine whether children with ASD are better able to learn new word-referent relations using an iPad or a traditional picture book. We also examine the hypothesis that presenting multiple, differently colored, exemplars of a target referent will promote adaptive label generalization compared to the use of a single exemplar. Sixteen minimally verbal children with ASD were taught a new word in four within-subjects conditions, which varied by media (iPad vs. book) and content (single vs. multiple exemplar presentation). Children were then tested on the ability to symbolically relate the word to a 3-D referent (real-life depicted object) and generalize it to a differently colored category member (another similarly shaped object). The extent of symbolic understanding did not differ between the two media, and levels of generalization did not differ across conditions. However, presentation of multiple exemplars increased the rate that children with ASD extended labels from pictures to depicted objects. Our findings are discussed in terms of the importance of content to picture-based learning and the potential benefits and challenges of using the Apple iPad as an educational resource for children with ASD.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus