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Computer mediated interaction in Asperger's syndrome: the Bubble Dialogue program

Rajendran, G. and Mitchell, Peter (2000) Computer mediated interaction in Asperger's syndrome: the Bubble Dialogue program. Computers and Education, 35 (3). pp. 189-207. ISSN 0360-1315

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This paper reports the use of a computer application, Bubble Dialogue, with two primary aims: (1) to assess the experience of computer-mediated role-taking on the interpersonal understanding, executive abilities and verbal abilities of two young male adults with Asperger's syndrome (a diagnosis given to higher functioning individuals with autism); (2) to investigate whether blind raters judged differently between Bubble Dialogue scripts produced by individuals with Asperger's syndrome and scripts produced by individuals with emotional and behavioural difficulties. The results show that there was no detectable improvement in the interpersonal understanding of the participants with Asperger's syndrome, but there was an improvement in their executive function scores. Additionally, the blind ratings revealed that only one of the 'Asperger' Bubble Dialogue scripts was different from the scripts generated by individuals with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Conceivably, Bubble Dialogue helps to regulate interaction, such that the social impairments characteristics of Asperger's syndrome are less conspicuous.