LI Qingchuan is a PhD candidate in School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Born in Northern China, she got her Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Design from Sichuan University, Chengdu in 2013. She also earned a master's degree in Industrial Engineering (Distinction) from The University of Hong Kong in 2014, specialized in Human Factor and Ergonomics. Since her master studies, she started to explore her interests in visual ergonomics as well as cognitive ergonomics for special population. In July 2015, she joined the School of Design as a PhD student to continually investigate and study how to apply ergonomics and human factors to build a bridge between the world of design and special population.
Design and evaluation of game-based interventions for children with autism: A Visual Perception Analysis from the perspective of human factors
About the Research
There is an irresistible trend to bridge the world of design and disability with each other as a researcher and designer. Design for disabilities or special needs have been developed for decades, which is also known as inclusive design in Europe and Japan, or universal design in United States. Among the special needs, autism is a heterogeneous behavioral disorder, which is currently defined by behavioral criteria of impairments in social interaction and communication, and the presence of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, interests and activities (World Health Organization, 1993). Recently, the estimated prevalence of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has shown an increase from 30.8 per 10000 in 2000 to approximately 100 per 10000 in developed countries.
Although none of the obvious symptom appears to be related to visual perceptions, abnormalities in visual perception actually have effects on some feature of ASD, such as social interaction and communication skills. However, there is still a great gap in research of the visual perception of children with autism. In addition, interventions used for them are still limited to traditional occupational therapy in ergonomics area. There is little research on the effectiveness of game-based interventions designed for the children with autism.
Thus, this project will firstly investigate the special visual perception pattern of children with autism in three aspects, including local visual processing, global visual processing and visual motion processing. Then, this project will explore possible factors that may have effects on relevant visual perception patterns in visual tasks among children with autism, such as color and fine-form discrimination tasks, motion coherence tasks, biological motion recognition tasks, etc. Furthermore, a game-based intervention that built on their special visual perception pattern will be designed and evaluated in terms of training performance both in the short-term and long-term period.
The findings of this study will not only fill the research gap of visual perception study for children with autism, but the game-based intervention design will give a systematic and influenced guideline and recommendation for autism intervention or therapy training designers and researchers in the future.