The way children play iPad games could reveal if they have autism, researchers have found. They believe the disruption of motor timing and integration may be a unique approach to diagnosing this disorder early so these children can seek the treatment they need.
Using a smart tablet, children with autism played games that measured their movements and gestures, which impact reveal they greater forces at contact and a different distribution of forces within a gesture than those who develop typically.
Researchers at the University of Strathclyde and colleagues at the start-up Harimata added code to two commercially available games for children in order for them to capture sensor and touch-screen data as they children played.
During the study, researchers examined movement data gathered from 37 children with autism, aged three to six years and 45 children without ranging from ages four through seven.
Children were asked to play games on smart tablet computers.Following the games, researches ran the data through a machine learning algorithm and then they compared each of the two groups’ results.They found children with autism have movement and gesture patterns with a greater force of impact than those who develop typically.Machine learning analysis of the children’s motor patterns identified autism with up to 93% accuracy.
Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.