Statement of responsibility: Hanan Makki Zakari
Research in Serious Games (SGs) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has become of higher interest throughout the last decade. The positive impact for children with ASD of playing SGs, more particularly on tablets, has been highlighted, facilitating improvements of communication skills, social interactions and understanding emotions. Autistic individuals have a limited range of interests,and often struggle to communicate with those around them. In addition, they often have to live with Moderating Sensory Hypersensitivity (MSH), leading them to experience increased sensitivity to sound, sight and/or touch. For these reasons, it is crucial to identify effective ways able to help them to relate to the society more easily, with a view to improving their quality of life.The research presented in this thesis describes a methodology for the creation of effective SG dedicated to children with ASD and auditory hypersensitivity, aiming at improving tolerance to critical sounds. The game, Sinbad and the Magic Cure was developed for Android devices and is intended for children aged 8-11, building upon interdisciplinary inputs from the fields of psychology, software engineering and design disciplines. This research first explores a collection of sounds to identify the most critical sounds for children with ASD, and then assesses theeffectiveness of the game Sinbad and the Magic Cure to familiarise to these critical sounds. Overall, results suggest that playing SGs in the long-term can be an effective instrument for managing auditory hypersensitivity in autistic children. Finally, this thesis discusses and concludes the trend of utilising SGs for ASD, as well as a proposed future work.
PhD Glasgow School of Art 2019
xiv, 202 p. : col. ill.