Researchers are developing a new mobile application that focuses on improving core attention skills in children with developmental disabilities including autism. Unlike other autism apps which concentrate on social skills, this application improves the ability to:
- concentrate and stay focused on a task
- switch attention between tasks
- inhibit impulsive responding
- mentally hold and use information
“The majority of autism apps focus on social skills training which, while important, it is the ability to improve cognitive skills alongside behavioural skills that is of utmost importance,” said lead researcher Professor Kim Cornish, from the Monash School of Psychological Sciences. In addition, unlike other apps, this new technology was clinically assessed in a pilot study.
Cornish and colleagues developed the technology with DreamWorks contractor Torus Games and Australian Technology Commercialisation firm, Grey Innovation. Tali Health, a spin-off company is commercializing the technology.
The Tali app is an “attention measuring and training program.” For special needs children using the application, it is a fun, interactive game. While children play the game, measurements of attention related skills are assessed and analysed. A report of this assessment is available to clinicians, educators and parents. This report allows clinicians to assess children’s progress and tailor the game to individual children’s needs.
For more information about this app for special needs children, see Tali Health’s website.