Posted on

Discuss The Background To Autism Education Essay

This chapter will discourse the background to autism every bit good as the current methods and engineerings out in schools at the minute. It will besides discourse the methods and regulations for planing for autistic kids. The end of this chapter is to derive a better understand of autism in general which in bend will let for a more efficient and successful terminal merchandise.

2.1 What is Autism?

Autism is a neurological upset, which has no known remedy. There are increasing cases of autism diagnosings on a planetary degree than of all time before, nevertheless there are now more efficient schemes in battling this upset with the ultimate end in doing it easier for these people to larn. Such schemes include sound and imagination to heighten specific thoughts and behaviors. Methods such as those antecedently mentioned aid to prosecute students that are uninterested in acquisition, and who besides display a low attending span.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder ( ASD ) are a group of disablements amongst autistic people that can do, societal, communicating and behavioral challenges in a existent universe environment such as traveling to the stores, or traveling out with the household for a repast in a eating house. There is no set clip for these disablements to happen as they can develop anytime in the kid up to the age of 22 and most probably will last their full life. Research conducted amongst eight twelvemonth olds has indicated an dismaying rate of 1 in 150 are now developing ASD disablements in the United States of America ( CDC, 2007 ) .

Autistic people require specialist package that can provide for their demands, such as the development of societal accomplishments, literacy and ICT accomplishments. There is an ever-increasing demand for this type of package within schools. Research has shown that around 75 % of people enduring from autism have larning troubles ( Coventry University, 2007 ) .

However to derive a better understanding about what precisely is required to construct an educational application, it is necessary to research into the learning manners of autistic kids in add-on to the package presently available. Current package may be effectual in possibly one country of the spectrum and may merely help in the development of one accomplishment, nevertheless further development may be required to provide for a broader spectrum of educating those with learning troubles.

2.2 Different Learning Styles of Autistic Children

There is a battalion of different acquisition challenges for autistic kids such as communicating issues. There are some kids that find it utile to larn utilizing imagination such as symbols and marks ; some may happen it more effectual to larn via text ; and other may happen it more utile to larn via audio, as their literacy accomplishments are so low. This is most effectual when utilizing a mixture of all three manners to supply for the broader spectrum of larning troubles. Voice-overs are an effectual tool that can heighten each manner of acquisition.

Issues such as those mentioned above are dealt with on a daily footing in schools and these issues should be catered for when making an application for autism.

Recent research has shown that younger kids prefer a kinesthetic acquisition manner. Simply put, this means that the kids learn more efficaciously by executing the activity instead than being told about it or reading about it. As kids grow older their acquisition manner adapts to the larning environment they ‘re in, such as listening to the instructor during a lesson or even reading a book in a library ( University of Illinois, 2009 ) .

Ocular accomplishments are more apparent in kids with particular educational demands much more than listening accomplishments. Information is harder for them to absorb and is harder for their encephalons to treat all incoming information into a concise order. This trouble is non apparent in those kids developing at the standard rate ( Stokes, 1999 ) .

The antecedently mentioned differences in kid development present legion obstructions for autistic kids. Autistic kids can happen the combination of whole words every bit good as grammar hard to treat, which in bend can do jobs when seeking to socialize with equals, household and instructors. Computers are able to supply graphical assets, which can help in the development of ocular accomplishments and besides assist to get the better of this issue of socializing that some kids with autism have developed ( Howlin, 1998 ) .

2.3 Existing Teaching Theory

2.3.1 Applied Behaviour Analysis

Applied Behaviour Analysis ( ABA ) supports kids with larning troubles. It is applied in the country of address development nevertheless can be adapted to suit most countries. ABA has been described by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board as the followers:

‘..The design, execution and rating of instructional and environmental alterations to bring forth socially important betterments in human behavior through skill acquisition and the decrease of debatable behavior. A behaviour analysis plan shall be based on empirical research, include the direct observation and measuring of behavior, and utilize ancestor stimulation, positive support, and other effects to bring forth behaviour alteration ‘ ( BACB, 2009 ) .

In drumhead, ABA can be used to better an autistic kid ‘s behavior in certain state of affairss including, how to act in public or at a dentist/doctors. Using this method a kid can be taught how to act, which they tend to larn instead good and non roll from it apart from a few exclusions.

The ABA can non merely be used to present new behaviors but it can besides be used to halt bad behaviors a kid presently shows. The bit-by-bit usher provided by the ABA allows kids to follow in a structured format, supplying a better apprehension for the kids. Such procedures are fundamentally insistent exercisings and can supply positive feedback such as wagess. This will in bend addition motive for the kids to larn more than normal ( Wallin, 2004 ) .

2.3.2 Discrete Trial Instruction

Discrete Trial Instruction ( DTI ) is a constituent of Applied Behaviour Analysis ( ABA ) . It is basically a one-to-one method of learning and acquisition, which introduces the bit-by-bit procedure to learn an autistic kid a specific undertaking. It is composed of three chief thoughts as discussed by ( Desrochers et Al, 2002 ) . These three thoughts are:

A request/instruction given by the instructor.

A response given by the kid to the instructor ‘s request/instruction.

The consequence from the combination of the two old points.

The DTI can provide for the assorted demands of an autistic kid such as societal interaction. This procedure can be customised to the kid ‘s specific demands and demands. Whilst utilizing this technique, the kid is able to take a wages for finishing the undertaking before it begins which, in bend creates exhilaration and a sense of motive. Such wagess can be bites or even games. Besides, the coach gives congratulations when the kid performs to a high criterion and completes an action, nevertheless negative actions are ignored as to non deter the kid ( Autism Spectrum Institute, 2009 ) .

The Interactive Collaborative Autism Network ( ICAN, 2000 ) describes a five-step construction, which breaks down each lesson for the kid:

Discriminative Stimulus ( Cue, Instruction, Command to Attend ) – This is the direction given to the kid from the instructor. The direction should be clear and easy for the kid to understand.

Prompt ( P ) ( Physical Verbal Model ) – A prompt is a planned interaction by the coach to give to the kid in order to assist them reply right or execute a right action. However kids may go reliant on this prompt therefore the coach must jump prompts or take it wholly once the kid learns the new accomplishment. This reduces predictability and complacence.

Behaviour ( B ) ( Response, Command to Perform ) – This is the response made by the kid to the direction given by the coach.

Stimulus Re-enforcer ( SR ) ( Consequence, Feedback ) – Feedback is given to the kid once they answer right or falsely. If the kid replies successfully without a prompt they receive a wages whereas the wages is withheld if they answer falsely or the coach gives excess instructions in order for the kid to reply right. Encouragement is a large factor in how good a kid performs in these activities.

Inter-Trial Interval ( ITI ) ( Presentation, Wait Time ) – This is a specific clip interval between tests. This is a clip hold between exercisings proposing to the kid that 1 has been completed and another is about to get down. This allows the kid to fix before the following test Begins, intending they are more likely to be unagitated and execute better.

Similar to ABA, the intent of DTI is to learn kids the necessary accomplishments for societal interactions in their mundane lives. They are to be made independently with the kid where possible, and combined with other tools for instruction, including the usage of computing machines which, in bend agencies that DTI can be a really successful method of learning ( Association for Science in Autism Treatment, 2006 ) .

2.4 Existing Teaching Solutions

2.4.1 Computers in Education

Howley and Arnold ( 1995/2005 ) province that a computer-based and ocular attack for stand foring societal narratives could hold a motivational consequence on larning for the kid. The first computerised societal narrative effort was made utilizing digital Hypercards ( Hagiwara & A ; Myles, 1999 ) . These cards worked as organized information databases which was available as a graphical and text on-screen activity. This attack had proved to be positive, nevertheless in current old ages has been replaced by PECS and Makaton.

Uniting images and societal narratives could be an effectual manner of bettering the societal development of autistic kids. Using a computing machine to unite these two methods could be really a utile and efficient tool for all parties involved. The customised activities can be synergistic in existent clip or printed out and practiced at place or schoolroom. Alternatively when the kid is at place they can publish out what they have done and take it to school.

2.5 Existing Software

2.5.1 Pectoral

Bondy and Frost foremost developed the Picture Exchange Communication System ( PECS ) in 1994 ( Bondy & A ; Frost, 2002 ) . PECS is used to enable people with communicating troubles to interact with each other through the induction of communicating. PECS encourages people to pass on by giving instructions and actions for the user to execute. It was foremost implemented in the Unites States of America and has received broad acknowledgment for its rigorous usage of communicating induction techniques.

The PECS method of learning utilises cards with imagination to stand for sentences or cardinal words, which a batch of kids find hard to make. For illustration if a kid wanted to eat a banana or a biscuit, they would happen and put the duplicate image card onto the instructor ‘s or carer ‘s manus to originate the communicating. The kid ‘s immediate household or even friends can besides utilize these cards to interact with the kid, intending the kid can go on larning yet in a non educational environment ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

The PECS cards are rather customisable, much like the Makaton method of learning. They can be hand-drawn or even an image that the kid responds good to. This type of acquisition is really effectual and if designed decently, can be implemented into a computer-based activity. The kid would be able to choose any image from a big database of images and could include a really simple pilotage bill of fares so that it is easy to follow.

There are around six stages to PECS and these are discussed below ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) :

Spontaneously bespeaking points or activities.

Generalize the accomplishments gained from first stage whilst going farther to originate a petition, such as another room or to a individual farther off.

Promoting the kid to take a preferable point from multiple points placed on a board, as a game or activity they enjoy the most.

Introduce sentence construction by uniting a image for ‘I want ‘ along with a image for the point / activity they have chosen. This will let the kid to tie in the two and will assist them to larn that they need to state the sentence earlier merely taking it.

Promoting kids to answer when the instructor, parent, carer etc makes a petition ; for illustration ‘What do you desire? ‘ . The kid will hold to embroider their sentence even further.

Promote kids to notice on elements of their environment, possibly by inquiring them why they like a certain object.

Research ( Baron-Cohen, 2002 ) has shown that by utilizing the construct of photographs-in-the-head, kids could farther larn mental provinces by the usage of sketch thought-bubbles. The bubble is used to stand for what the person was believing. Consequences from their research showed a huge betterment in the apprehension of what province of head person was in after utilizing these methods.

The construct of PECS is really utile as it shows the advantages of utilizing images to replace words to help autistic kids and others with larning troubles. Autism has been researched many times with similar decisions. Imagery and Audio are proved methods of educating those with learning troubles.

2.5.2 Makaton

Makaton is a linguistic communication programme with a beginning of extremely functional vocabulary widely used throughout the autistic community. This is utilized particularly in schools providing to those with particular demands that can assist develop accomplishments for autistic persons in communicating, linguistic communication and literacy. Makaton is primary method of communicating between those with particular demands and the people they interact with mundane ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

Makaton has two vocabularies, which are as follows:

Core Vocabulary

This provides users with basic, mundane constructs that are increased in complexness as the user progresses through the programme. This is the first vocabulary users are presented with and will supply them with the nucleus cognition. There are 450 indispensable constructs within this resource.

Resource Vocabulary

This is a much larger topic-based resource that includes broader life experiences and that can organize links with Core Vocabulary. There are over 7000 constructs included within this resource spread outing and complecting with the Core Vocabulary, leting the kid to make to the full customisable sentences/stories.

Makaton symbols were created by a group of experient coachs amongst others that were working within the field of particular demands. These symbols were consulted upon and agreed before they were published ( Walker et al, 1985 ) .

Makaton symbols reflect the undermentioned standards and these are as follows:

The symbols should be every bit pictographic as possible

The symbols should be uncomplicated and easy to pull

Using the Makaton symbols within Core and Resource Vocabulary they will supply a ocular representation of societal interaction for the person instead than aural. The symbols can be used with address, text or separately in order to help the autistic person whatever their degree is.

Makaton is critical for the autistic community and has been updated to maintain up with the UK ‘s ever-growing multi-cultural society, nevertheless the last revised update was in 1996. Makaton is used in the UK but non merely that, it is now adapted for usage in 40 states.

Each phase of a kid ‘s development of communicating, linguistic communication and literacy should be personalised as they al have different experiences hence ca n’t follow a set guideline. Using nucleus and resource vocabulary allows for full flexibleness in making a user-specific story/scenario. The fact that this procedure is really flexible, it enables the kid to work at their ain gait, so that they gain a full apprehension. If the kid does non demo a full apprehension so advancement to the following phase of development will discontinue. Core vocabulary is an first-class tool for users with a higher degree of communicating yet still necessitate the support of some symbols.

Makaton is so various that it provides vocabulary specifically targeted towards the kid ‘s carer so that they can advance societal interaction whilst outside of school i.e. a place environment. Not merely this but it will besides promote the kid to develop their accomplishments outside of a school environment. If the kid is able to follow this form of utilizing the symbols at place, they will see a greater betterment than they would hold if merely practiced at school. Resource vocabulary has the largest content base of the two vocabularies and opportunities are, it will incorporate most, if non all constructs for any single, depending on experiences, life style and age.

There are different degrees of use for Makaton and these along with illustrations are as follows ( Corker & A ; Rice, 1996 ) :

Functional – where a individual symbol can stand for a whole sentence or message













( Figure shows how a individual word can stand for an full sentence )

Keyword – where cardinal symbols/signs are used to stand for intending but non the grammatical words to finish a sentence such as ‘The ‘ , ‘is ‘ , and ‘an ‘ .








adult male





( Figure shows how sentences can be created without the grammatical words )

Symbol – where symbols and marks are implemented for the full sentence.


adult male











( Figure shows how each word in a sentence has its ain symbol/sign. )

However when utilizing these symbols and marks, attention must be taken as there can be more than one symbol or mark for the same word. An illustration of this is shown below:



( Figure shows how there are multiple symbols for one word in some instances )

The illustration above shows that you can both eat with cutter and eat with fingers. The user must carefully take the correct, relevant one.

This besides needs to be taken into consideration during the design stage of the application. Makaton is an extended resource that if used good can take to important advancement for those persons with communicating troubles.

2.5.3 Social Narratives

Social narratives are another method of learning for kids with ASD. The end of societal narratives is to learn the person a peculiar societal accomplishment utilizing imagination, rather similar to PECS. Social narratives focus on societal state of affairss and interactions from a kid ‘s position ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

Examples of how societal narratives can be used are:

Acting in different environments e.g. during a lesson in school, how to act in a eating house.

Communication issues such as listening when person else is talking.

Traveling to the lavatory or even holding a bath and/or shower.

This method of instruction is really flexible and can be used by anyone that is near to the kid. The more pattern a kid gets, the easier the information will be processed intending a peculiar societal narrative will non be needed any longer. There are books that have been released which focus merely on societal narratives. All of the narratives are printable which means they are a portable beginning of instruction. These narratives are besides customisable so that they can be adapted to accommodate the demands of the person.

Social narratives can come in book or e-book formats. The monetary values of these books are comparatively high as they ‘re seen as specialist educational books. The books are an priceless beginning for the kid and can profit them in many ways. A major benefit is that the kid can pattern a alteration in modus operandi with an grownup so that they are to the full prepared when it occurs ( Del Valle et Al, 2001 ) . The kid can utilize the narrative as a usher on how to act in the state of affairs ( Gray & A ; Garand, 1993 ) .

Research ( http: // ) has shown that there are several sentence types used in societal narratives and these are as follows:

Descriptive ( De ) – who, what, where and why inside informations

Directive ( Di ) – provinces appropriate societal instructions in specific state of affairss

Perspective ( P ) – describes possible feelings the kid may experience during the scenario

Affirmative ( A ) – depict what other people are believing or experiencing during the scenario.

Cooperative ( Co ) – depict how other people may seek to assist the person in certain scenarios.

Control ( Cn ) – are created by the kid to assist retrieve schemes that work for the person

Below is a customised narrative utilizing some of these sentence types:

When we go to the shoe shop

There will be many places to take from. ( De )

I might non cognize which shoes I like. ( P )

That is all right with everyone. ( A )

I can keep onto my twine while I decide. ( Cn )

When I decide about the places, I will state the grown-up. ( Di )

The grown-up will travel acquire the places for me. ( Co )

Rowe ( 1999 ) has stated that societal narratives can help in the administration of societal thoughts and cues that were antecedently disorganised. Besides by utilizing image, picture and sound to replace instructor to pupil or rear to child instruction, societal narratives may cut down the anxiousness of societal relationships for a kid ( Scattone et al, 2002 ) . This method ensures that the kid can concentrate on the information and content of the societal narrative instead than what is traveling on around them in the surrounding environment.

Research has shown that societal narratives can cut down behavioral issues and assist to increase societal consciousness so that when the kid does finally venture out into the universe, they are able to get by with the bulk of scenarios they may meet. When a narrative is finally phased out due to the kid to the full larning that scenario and behavior, they should in bend be able to reassign this theory into a new state of affairs ( De Valle et Al, 2001 ) . The survey nevertheless may be flawed, as there were a limited figure of trial topics, five in sum. The chief ground this is flawed is that no 1 kid is the same and the differences are sometimes immense.

A recent article written in the passed few old ages ( Reynhout & A ; Carter, 2006 ) stated that they ‘d discovered whilst many societal narratives were effectual on norm, non every instance was effectual. This means that the societal narratives were hit and miss as to whether they would win in learning the kids the right behavior, albeit the theory is still relevant and to some grade a critical measure frontward to increasing autistic kids ‘s societal accomplishments.

These issues must be considered when planing the application to supply a wide range and guarantee a higher success rate. Possibly the ground why some societal narratives were non successful was because the narrative itself was non common in most kids and on norm, irrelevant.

In drumhead, societal narratives can supply utile stimulations to help the development in a kid ‘s societal accomplishments. Symbols can supply solutions to imagery short falls. Sentences that flow into a narrative can be utile in societal state of affairs preparation. Practicing societal state of affairss in the schoolroom can help in existent universe scenarios.

2.5.4 Communicate In Print

Communicate In Print is a symbol desktop publishing house created by Widgit Software. It includes a set of literacy symbols both in coloring material and in black and white. It is the penchant of the user which manner they want to utilize. Communicate In Print is the latest package on the market and as such, used by many of the particular needs schools.

This package can be used to make books, worksheets and postings for usage with people that have both communicating and acquisition troubles. It can be used to make illustrations within a to the full flexible layout or within a selectable templet. Not merely is it possible to utilize the package with the provided images and symbols but besides it is besides possible to infix the users ain digital exposure and Internet saved images for added personalisation. This is first-class package as it is to the full customisable for each user with uploading of their ain images but they have the option to add in text or symbols.

There is besides in writing supported text available to the user. The user types in one of the 27,000 available words and a relevant symbol will look above that specific word. This provides instant feedback to the user, which is really utile for instructors every bit good as the students. Text and artworks can be freely moved anyplace on the page every bit good as resized to accommodate the users single demands. There is a batch of functionality within this package nevertheless possibly there is excessively much. The user may be overwhelmed with all of the options to take from.

Communicate In Print from Widgit is to the full downloadable from the Internet which means handiness for all Microsoft computing machines is guaranteed although it is non available for usage on a Macintosh.

Communicate In Print is a great tool for instructors in specializer schools to construct lessons and larning stuffs for the kids. Not merely can the instructors use the package but the kids can besides utilize it to make their ain customised narratives and sentences that are relevant to them, although most likely it will be the instructors and schoolroom helpers utilizing this package.

This package is really similar to Makaton and PECS nevertheless is more various due to its desktop publication capablenesss. These capablenesss have ensured that Communicate In Print is the most widely used package within in the particular needs school that moving as a client for this undertaking ( Glebe School, Whitley Bay ) .

Communicate In Print forms the footing for the application. The difference between the application and the current package is that there is range for this undertaking to utilize simple lifes and short reflective quizzes to prosecute the user instead than holding them follow a set construction where merely one manner of acquisition is possible. This will be what makes the concluding merchandise more alone than current applications already available.

Communicate In Print besides allows users to input address bubbles to heighten the illustrations to include the province of head. It is every bit simple as dragging one of the many address bubble forms onto the screen and get down typewriting. This text is besides symbolised which confirms the versatility of this package. Colorss can besides be altered to excite the users ‘ creativeness, for illustration ; altering an apple from ruddy to green. This ensures that all assets are customisable which increases the users involvement.

This package is continuously being updated with more symbols and is easy downloadable from the widgit web site. There are free symbol sets available but some of the sets are better quality and can be purchased for a little fee.

An illustration of Communicate In Print is shown below. It is the narrative of Billy Goats Gruff supported by humourous artworks ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) :

( Figure 2.5.4 shows Billy Goat Gruff narrative used by some particular schools. )

Clearly some of the symbols are standard such as ‘nice ‘ and ‘field ‘ whereas some will hold been designed to suit the manner of narrative for the user such as ‘Billy caprine animal ‘ . In utilizing this package, it is user friendly and inspirational for the undertaking in footings of illustrations of activities kids will happen utile and engaging.

2.6 Teaching & A ; Motivating Children with Autism

The design of a learning application for autistic kids needs an apprehension of the users ‘ acquisition and development demands. Three countries to help this are discussed within this subdivision, i.e. how kids learn, what motivates larning and how package can implement these demands.

2.6.1 ARCS Model

Researching what motivates kids to larn is really of import when planing this application. Therefore research is required for the most effectual attacks that could be used to construction the application. Siegel ( 2003 ) discovered that autistic kids are more motivated to delight themselves as opposed to delighting others around them. If the kid ‘s attending wanders elsewhere so the application may turn out ineffective.

The execution of many motivational techniques in order for the kid to larn efficaciously and stay stirred. The ARCS Model was designed by Keller as a method of short-circuiting such obstructions mentioned earlier in the design stage ( Keller, 1987/1996 ) . Keller theorises the four motivational factors for autistic kids are attending, relevancy, assurance and satisfaction.





Incongruity, struggle


Learning demands

Natural effects


Present worth


Unexpected consequences


Future utility


Positive results


Need fiting


Negative influences



Self assurance




( Table 2.6 demoing ARCS classs ( Keller, 1987 ) . )


The users attending must ever be maintained when executing a undertaking. If their attending is non at that place so the package or undertaking will non be effectual. Keller ( 1987 ) states that in order to prosecute involvement, one must happen the perfect medium between ennui and hyperactivity. To originate this perfect medium, multiple choices could be incorporated from the corresponding column in Table 2.1 above. Changing the media types used in the application could besides assist to maintain the users involvement such as blending life with sound and still imagery. Figure 2.5 demoing the ‘Billy Goats Gruff ‘ narrative would be a good illustration of temper. That could be assorted with audio and simple life to maintain the scholars involvement.


When planing for autistic kids it is good pattern to pull upon illustrations from bing accomplishments every bit good as past experiences. It is polar to enable full user control to take which information they entree and when, every bit good as to utilize a clear linguistic communication ( Keller, 1987 ) .


When kids start an application their assurance will be low nevertheless this can be improved by supplying a changeless degree of feedback about the successes gained within the application. The degree of trouble should bit by bit increase the farther the kid moves into the system ( Keller, 1987 ) .


Positive feedback is really of import for the user and should be provided on completion of each undertaking although for really simple undertakings congratulations should be limited unless it is at the kid ‘s current degree. ( Learning Theories Knowledgebase, 2008 ) .

All of these facets should be taken into history during the design stage and it is critical to implement each into the application. As the kid will hold experienced undertakings like these before they will hold an implicit in assurance in order to finish the undertaking successfully. This will increase user satisfaction upon completion with small assistance from the coach.

2.7 Interface Design and Usability

This subdivision will look into how a user interface for a kid can be made more user-friendly. It will discourse the guidelines provided by many experts in what they believe to outdo suit immature scholars with autism.

2.7.1 Serviceability

Serviceability is a large factor in whether or non an application is successful or a failure. Serviceability, merely put, means how easy an application is to utilize for illustration, pilotage. It besides measures how effectual the system is at finishing aims for the user ( Feldstein & A ; Neal, 2006 ) . In order to obtain credence of the merchandise, it is necessary to be to the full cognizant of the design model environing serviceability ( Shneiderman, 1998 ) .

It can be broken down into six distinguishable countries harmonizing to experts in the field ( Preece et al, 2007 ) and these are as follows:

Efficiency- the user must be able to finish a undertaking with comparative easiness such as voyaging to the needed screen with minimum mouse chinks.

Effectiveness- the system must finish all of its proposed aims set out in its design stage. If it does non so it wont be successful.

Safety- the system must be able to make a safe environment for the user and any errors made are minimum, such as typing in an wrong word and desiring to get down once more. Mistakes must be able to be reversed.

Utility- the system should hold all relevant buttons and maps in order to carry through a specific undertaking. If it is missing in required maps so the scholar can non finish the undertaking therefore will lose involvement.

Learning ability- the system should be easy to larn for the kid in footings of functionality and pilotage. If it is hard the immature scholar will non desire to utilize the system frequently.

The system should be easy to retrieve. This is similar to the above feature but the system should be easy plenty to larn and for the user to be able to retain that cognition of functionality without holding to revisit a user usher.

One must be cognizant of these countries when planing the application as if it does n’t follow these careful guidelines so it could neglect before it is even finished being made.

2.7.2 Interface

There are some of import issues to see when planing an interface, as it is a really of import stage of the pre-production stage. The serviceability characteristics stated earlier ( Preece et al, 2007 ) , need to be considered by non used as a set guideline. Handiness and support within the application demand to be apparent in the system, particularly when planing for users with autism or other learning troubles. These demand to be supported by standard design guidelines so that the system is every bit competent as can be.

The Usability Engineering Lifecycle ( Mayhew, 1999 ) suggests that the interface should be considered early in the design stage so that everything has been thought of, which in bend means that there is less opportunity of something being missed, such as a critical interface characteristic. Such a characteristic could be a button to take the user to a new page alternatively of being stuck on the home page.

As kids with autism do non like alteration, consistence demands to be applied throughout the interface as to non discourage the user. Keeping this rigorous regulation means the user can execute other undertakings with easiness such as pilotage ( Cummine et al, 2000 ) .

Ocular acquisition is most preferable for kids with autism particularly at a immature age. The usage of familiar icons can help the kid in larning and following the system with comparative easiness. Howlin ( 1998 ) states that imagination could hold a positive influence within a learning application. The ground being is that ‘aˆ¦few demands on the kid ‘s cognitive, lingual and memory accomplishments ‘ . Simply put, imagination is more synergistic and merriment for the kid therefore they have less difficult of a clip seeking to retrieve undertakings, and can treat thoughts more easy.

Location indexs are an effectual manner of allowing the user know their exact location within the system. Such indexs could be ‘breadcrumb ‘ pilotage techniques intending that they are made aware of where they have come from and where they are. If decently implemented into a system, this technique can help in forestalling the kid going agitated if they get lost. If this pilotage is non systematically on each page so this consequences in a alteration in the kid ‘s everyday which may do the kid to be upset, which in bend can cut down enjoyment of the application and may forestall users from deriving information ( Jordan & A ; Powell, 1995 ) .

Specific fount manners e.g. sizes should be implemented to help in the representation of information for the user, along with headers for new subdivisions within the application. The kid must besides be able to read the text provided to them and that its presentation is of import in order to help the kid in a Fuller larning experience ( Walker & A ; Reynolds, 2000 ) .

An interface agent can supply descriptions of undertakings and controls within the application so do the user at easiness from the beginning. Again, like the deficiency of location indexs, could do agitation and defeat for the kid ( Mandel, 1997 ) .

Animations are a great tool for easing a kid into an activity. It provides a interruption from the norm with the usage of character life alternatively of text based acquisition. Fictional characters on screen should non be deflecting to the user but convey the text on the screen to life. A good application will be effectual in doing the kid want to utilize it instead than being asked to by the instructor ( Hanna et al, 1999 ) .

Druin et Al ( 2001 ) found that text-based interfaces were non every bit efficient as those with ocular AIDSs and graphical metaphors. This reiterates the effectivity for an onscreen character.

Children including those with autism require feedback instantly, as the deficiency of consequence will discourage the user. If they press a button and nil happens, the kid will instantly seek to press the button once more and once more until a consequence occurs. Changeless sound such as voice over or sound effects can be raging for older users yet younger kids expect it. This is a good point to reference, as if an older kid were to utilize an application with changeless sound and imagination, they may go forth. Each age group is different to one another.

Research ( Lynch & A ; Horton, 2004 ) has suggested a recommended screen are of 760px * 410px lower limit to supply adequate room for the user to maneuver around the application with comparative easiness. This screen size will forestall or significantly cut down the demand to scroll to see new information.

Donker & A ; Reitsma ( 2007 ) suggest a minimal button size of 27px * 27px should be implemented for those without larning troubles. However since this application is for users with autism, the buttons need to be significantly bigger so that they can be pressed more easy, whether it is by finger on a touch screen or by snaping a mouse.

2.7.3 ‘Eight Golden Rules ‘

There are eight aureate regulations set out by Shneiderman ( 1998 ) when planing an interface for younger scholars with autism. They are nevertheless merely to be used as guidelines where appropriate ; as some may be irrelevant for the undertaking one might be partaking in. It is plausible to accommodate these guidelines to accommodate the demands of the coveted application. Using these regulations as a guideline it is more likely that the concluding merchandise will be successful and user-friendly.

The aureate regulations are as follows:

Strive for consistency- everything from system bill of fares, coloring material, layout, founts and aid tools should be consistent throughout the application. If these are all consistent so it will supply a degree of predictability instead than a sense of the ‘unknown ‘ .

Shortcuts- cutoffs should be used throughout the system so that the user can acquire where they need to be with minimum chinks.

Feedback- feedback should be available for all actions whether it is good or non. This will maintain the users involvement and concentrate on the undertaking at manus.

Completion- the user will necessitate closing on an activity hence feedback should be available to help this decision.

Errors- mistake bar should be apparent in the system, which will cut down user defeat.

Correction- the option to change by reversal any actions should be possible in the system. Again this will cut down user defeat.

Control- a degree of control for the user should be implemented and undertaking made merriment and engaging. User dissatisfaction should be zero or really minimum.

Information overload- avoid providing the user with excessively much information at any one given clip. Screens in an application should be simple and easy for the user to intake information. Any strain on the scholar ‘s encephalon should be avoided at all costs.

If each of the facets is applied suitably throughout the system during the design stage, it can either do or interrupt the success of the terminal merchandise. Although these guidelines are merely common sense, it is good to hold them in a list so that they can be referred to at any clip throughout the design stage.

2.7.4 HCI for users with autism

When planing a user interface for autistic kids it is of import to recognize the chief demands for the kid whilst besides taking note of the HCI ( Human Computer Interaction ) rules outlined by Jones & A ; Okey ( 1995 ) , Shneiderman ( 1998 ) and Norman ( 1998 ) .

Autistic kids have a rigorous tunnel-like focal point and are most likely to follow a set modus operandi. The undermentioned characteristics need to be acknowledged in order to make the perfect environment for an autistic kid to larn ( Murray, 2002 ) :

Ocular cues






Unhurried gait

Draging actions with a mouse could do some degree of trouble for immature kids. One attack to antagonize this would be to hold the user chink to attach the object to the mouse pointer so click once more to let go of it. This relieves the action of keeping down a mouse button for any drawn-out period of clip ( Inkpen, 2001 ) . Another attack would be to guarantee that clip periods dragging, are significantly reduced by shuting the distance a user must drag the object from to.

Again these features will turn out utile when planing the application as these, along with the eight aureate regulations antecedently mentioned, can make a formula for success.

2.8 Multimedia – Technology Lifecycle

The Usability Engineering Lifecycle was created and developed by Mayhew ( 1999 ) . Due to the context of this undertaking, one can analyze the below diagram and utilize it as a guideline for the production and feedback procedure.

( Figure 2.8 shows assorted phases of the Usability Engineering Lifecycle )

The lifecycle is merely a guideline and non a set in rock usher by which to follow for really production. Mayhew ( 1999 ) states that one may accommodate, add or jump some stairss in order for it to suit 1s application.

2.9 Requirements Analysis

Research has show that there are approximately four countries of demands analysis. Such countries are User Profile, conceptual undertaking analysis, usability end scene and eventually platform capablenesss and restraints. The undermentioned countries need to be discussed in order to truly understand the basic demands demands for the mark audience.

2.9.1 User Profile

In order to roll up an initial user profile, one must first look into the types of user that will be utilizing the system.

It is of critical importance to cognize and understand the user to a grade of item before even believing about get downing the design of the system otherwise the terminal merchandise will non be every bit successful as it could hold been holding researched these. Faulkner ( 2000 ) lists the assorted types of user as follows:

Direct Users: Users that are able to interact with the system themselves to transport out a undertaking or activity. To do this research relate to the subject, the autistic kid every bit good as the instructor will be a direct user of the system.

Indirect Users: Due to the autistic kid ‘s ability to transport out a undertaking may be excessively low to utilize the system, the instructor or carer may necessitate to help the kid in utilizing it.

Distant Users: Although this type of user is rare and non within the client school, it is still of import to observe that there are some kids who are unable to utilize a system and must trust entirely on another individual, whether it be the instructor or carer, to utilize the system Al of the clip on their behalf whilst they watch.

Faulkner ( 2000 ) gives an account of the different traits a user may hold:

The Novice User: The novitiates user may hold small to no experience of a computing machine and may merely be a first clip user. Novitiates will necessitate uninterrupted feedback from the system so that they are cognizant of their advancement or actions, such as buttons foregrounding and ‘breadcrumb ‘ manner pilotage, intending they will cognize where they came from, and where they are presently. They will necessitate easy-to-understand pilotage ushers and bill of fares to steer them through the system until they have to the full learned it and are capable of traveling solo.

The Intermediate User: The intermediate user may utilize the system for short periods of clip, perchance due to a bend based rota the category may hold. They may possess a wide overview of the system and can demo both novitiate and adept features. This is the most likely user trait within the client school, as their kids are used to utilizing a computing machine every twenty-four hours and can work it comparatively good.

The Expert User: The expert user has assurance and experience utilizing the system and has a clear apprehension of how to interact with the system. Expert users need to be provided with cutoffs in order to speed up through undertakings faster. This type of user could be that of an autistic kid with really high literacy and communicating accomplishments compared to their equals. This is a really rare happening yet still occurs in schools.

2.9.2 Contextual Task Analysis

The chief purpose of this undertaking analysis is to plan a system, which helps the user execute their day- to-day undertakings more expeditiously such as societal narratives, and to besides help in the development of their narrative construction accomplishments. The users ‘ demands are really of import when planing undertakings for the application every bit good as how they may get the better of any jobs need to be addressed. This will be discussed further in the design chapter with determinations on action reversals.

2.9.3 Usability end puting

Serviceability Goals are created from demands gathered from the research subdivision of the study. These demands will be listed within the following chapter, Chapter Three- Requirements.

2.9.4 Platform capablenesss and restraints

The chosen platform for this application is Microsoft Windows although it will be able to work on an Apple Macintosh as that excessively can play “ .swf files ” . There are different guidelines and restraints for each platform although none that will consequence this application in a large manner.

Through this research, one can now make a list of demands for the application to follow and utilize as a guideline when during the design stage, as to non acquire off path. The research in this chapter will let for a clear and concise set of demands, which in bend will do for a better terminal merchandise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.