Towards an Interactive System Facilitating Therapeutic Narrative Elicitation in Autism.
By telling stories to ourselves and others we make sense of the world; not only of events and why they happened, but also of the actions and motivations of ourselves and others. However, people with autism appear to live in a less coherent world; autism is a--lifelong pervasive developmental disorder affecting social ability. Experiments have shown that children with autism have specific difficulties with narrative; they are less likely to take into account their audience and references to causality and affect may be--missing or be inappropriate. Our hypothesis is that narrative structure itself is fundamental to the perception, creation and communication of meaning in social interaction. We propose a software system which allows exploration of the abilities of autistic--subjects to build coherent narratives from discrete stimuli such as events in pictures or photographs. Our long term goal is to identify aspects of narrative where therapeutic intervention for autistic users could be applied. In this paper we describe a pilot study--and results of the first experimental trials.