Send to

Choose Destination
Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2016;36(1):46-58. doi: 10.3109/01942638.2015.1040572. Epub 2015 Sep 30.

Using Multitouch Collaboration Technology to Enhance Social Interaction of Children with High-Functioning Autism.

Author information

a University of Haifa , Haifa , Israel.
b Bar-Ilan University , Ramat Gan , Israel.
c Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) , Trento , Italy.



Children with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD) have major difficulties in social communication skills, which may impact their performance and participation in everyday life. The goal of this study was to examine whether the StoryTable, an intervention paradigm based on a collaborative narrative, multitouch tabletop interface, enhanced social interaction for children with HFASD, and to determine whether the acquired abilities were transferred to behaviors during other tasks.


Fourteen boys with HFASD, aged 7-12 years, participated in a 3-week, 11-session intervention. Social interactions during two nonintervention tasks were videotaped at three points in time, one prior to the intervention (pre), a second immediately following the intervention (post) and a third three weeks after the intervention (follow-up). The video-recorded files were coded using the Friendship Observation Scale to ascertain the frequencies of positive and negative social interactions and collaborative play. Differences in these behaviors were tested for significance using nonparametric statistical tests.


There were significantly higher rates of positive social interactions and collaborative play, and lower rates of negative social interactions following the intervention suggesting generalization of the social skills learned during the intervention. Improvement was maintained when tested three weeks later.


These findings provide support for the use of collaborative technology-based interventions within educational settings to enhance social interaction of children with HFASD.


Children; high-functioning autism spectrum disorders; social interaction; social intervention; technology

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center