Presentation Title

Measuring the Engagement of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Eye-Tracking Data

Speaker Credentials

BS-AT

Speaker Credentials

BS

College

College of Nursing

Location

Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida, USA

Format

Poster

Start Date

21-2-2020 8:30 AM

End Date

21-2-2020 4:00 PM

Abstract

Objective. To investigate the role of human-animal interaction on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Background. Children and adults with an ASD lack sufficient abilities to engage with others. They often misinterpret cues and exhibit the incorrect response. Research studies indicate that a pet can serve as an emotional comfort and can serve as an aid to teach certain skills; mainly, a pet can help children learn about their own emotions and connect with others. Methods. Neurotypical children and children with ASD were recruited from the public and from CARD-UM-NSU, Mailman Segal Center, and Nicklaus Children’s hospital. Data were collected using the Tobii Pro Nano eye-tracker to measure eye movement, pupil dilation, and gaze fixation. The Tobii Pro Nano lab was used to analyze the imaging eye-tracking data and IBM SPSS V 26.1 was used to analyze the numerical data that were generated. Results. The results reveal that children with ASD respond positively to the interaction between a friendly animal and a person similar to children with neurotypical development. Gaze fixation data suggest that children with ASD respond well to the animal and also understand the animal’s toy preference. Conclusion. The findings suggest that children with ASD can comprehend happiness and can form relationships with a pet to improve learning and social interaction skills. These findings will provide evidence crucial to understanding the impact of pet therapy on the social and learning behaviors of children with ASD. Grants. This study was funded by the President’s Quality of Life Grant.

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Feb 21st, 8:30 AM Feb 21st, 4:00 PM

Measuring the Engagement of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Eye-Tracking Data

Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida, USA

Objective. To investigate the role of human-animal interaction on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Background. Children and adults with an ASD lack sufficient abilities to engage with others. They often misinterpret cues and exhibit the incorrect response. Research studies indicate that a pet can serve as an emotional comfort and can serve as an aid to teach certain skills; mainly, a pet can help children learn about their own emotions and connect with others. Methods. Neurotypical children and children with ASD were recruited from the public and from CARD-UM-NSU, Mailman Segal Center, and Nicklaus Children’s hospital. Data were collected using the Tobii Pro Nano eye-tracker to measure eye movement, pupil dilation, and gaze fixation. The Tobii Pro Nano lab was used to analyze the imaging eye-tracking data and IBM SPSS V 26.1 was used to analyze the numerical data that were generated. Results. The results reveal that children with ASD respond positively to the interaction between a friendly animal and a person similar to children with neurotypical development. Gaze fixation data suggest that children with ASD respond well to the animal and also understand the animal’s toy preference. Conclusion. The findings suggest that children with ASD can comprehend happiness and can form relationships with a pet to improve learning and social interaction skills. These findings will provide evidence crucial to understanding the impact of pet therapy on the social and learning behaviors of children with ASD. Grants. This study was funded by the President’s Quality of Life Grant.