Samsung has released a new app that helps people with autism establish eye contact. According to statistics, one in 68 children in the U.S. have autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. Some of the symptoms of the condition include poor eye contact and social skills. Samsung’s new app aims to treat these symptoms.
The Look at Me app, developed with Yonsei University’s department of psychology and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, enables autistic children to play a series of games and tests that were developed in order to improve their social skills and eye contact.
According to Daily Mail UK, 20 children with autism were trained to use the app for eight weeks. Out of the 20 children, 80 percent showed improvement. The Samsung app consists of different challenges such as drawing facial features, practicing facial expressions, and identifying sad and happy faces. The user is rewarded with points based on performance.
According to speech and language therapist Rhiannan Walton, autistic children have a different motivation than other children.
“We know therapy needs to be motivating for children in general, and games are particularly motivating for children with autism because they’re visually appealing. Autistic children aren’t motivated by wanting to please in the same way other children are.”
Mashable reports that Samsung Canada partnered with Autism Speaks Canada in order to help families who have kids with autism. They offered a Samsung Galaxy Tab S that has the Look At Me app to 200 families with autistic children.
Samsung says that the effectiveness of the app is not conclusive. However, if parents observe that the Samsung app helps their autistic child, it can be a way for them to cope with the symptoms that come with autism.
The Look At Me app is available as a free download on the Google Play store for Android 4.0 devices and later.
[Image via Look at Me]