“Consistent interaction is important for people living with ASD, as it supports learning and helps them feel safe in situations that may otherwise make them feel uncomfortable. And when people feel safe, they relax their stress response and can better focus on tasks.”
Advanced Speech Pathologist Ruyi Tong is a member of the Social Robotics Project Team at Therapy Focus and clarified that the social robot does not replace human therapists, it simply supports ‘traditional’ therapy.
“The robot only works when it is programmed by a therapist. It requires us, as therapists, to identify the therapy goals its programs will target and support.” Ruyi said.
“The magic only happens after the robot has been programmed. Unlike some ‘traditional’ therapy interventions, robot-assisted therapy is captivating for many customers, and when they are captivated they can engage in an activity for longer.”
“Sustained, purposeful engagement provides the foundation for not only reinforcing an intended skill, but potentially enhancing skill acquisition as the session progresses.”