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Autism. 2014 Apr;18(3):264-71. doi: 10.1177/1362361312472067. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Using Tic-Tac software to reduce anxiety-related behaviour in adults with autism and learning difficulties during waiting periods: a pilot study.

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1University of Valencia, Spain.


Deficits in the perception of time and processing of changes across time are commonly observed in individuals with autism. This pilot study evaluated the efficacy of the use of the software tool Tic-Tac, designed to make time visual, in three adults with autism and learning difficulties. This research focused on applying the tool in waiting situations where the participants exhibited anxiety-related behaviour. The intervention followed a baseline and intervention (AB) design, and a partial interval recording procedure was used to code the presence of stereotypes, nervous utterances, wandering or other examples of nervousness during the selected waiting situations. The results showed that the use of Tic-Tac resulted in lower levels of anxiety-related behaviour in all three participants, compared to the baseline, suggesting that this software may be an effective technology for helping people with autism with organisation and predictability during waiting periods. The results are discussed in terms of limitations and implications for further study.


anxiety-related behaviours; autism; technology; time perception

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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