|GIANOTTI MATTIA||Cycle: XXXIII |
Section: Computer Science and Engineering
Tutor: PERNICI BARBARA
Advisor: GARZOTTO FRANCA Major Research topic
:Smart Multisensory Environments for Children with NDDAbstract:
The research of my interdepartmental PhD (joint with the School of Design) focuses on designing, developing and evaluating MultiSensory Environments (MSE) for children with NeuroDevelopmental Disorders (NDD).
The term MSE is used to denote digitally enhanced environments intended to stimulate the vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile sense of the user, train the integration and identification of the different stimuli, and engage the user in useful activities.
The term NDD is used to denote a wide spectrum of pathologies which may affect both the intellectual functioning and the adaptive behaviour of affected people. Intellectual functioning refers to general mental capacity such as learning, reasoning, problem solving and imagination. The adaptive behaviour, instead, refer to a collection of social and practical capabilities and skills, which matured among the person’s life by interacting with others, such as language and literacy, interpersonal relationships, social responsibility, self-esteem, ability to adhere to rules and laws, personal care and safety, healthcare, management of time and money and many others. Such deficits have a great impact on daily life’s activities. NDD pathologies generally affect a person’s life from the youth and continue through their whole life, ruining definitively the quality of life of the children, his/her family and the surrounding society. NDD generally is incurable and the causes are yet little known. Scientific community still agree that early intervention and specialized treatments since early childhood may mitigate such terrible effects on the patient’s life. In such context interactive technologies, especially digitally enhanced MSE, are promising approaches able to provide meaningful, useful and stimulating experiences for children with NDD and support their caregivers in their struggle to help these children.
Various studies pinpoint the importance and the effectiveness of multisensory approaches for the engagement, teaching and the sense of agency’s generation in NDD children: a digital system has predictable responses to children behaviours, which reduces anxiety and fear creating a sense of safety for the children. It also offers many stimulations to engage the children for foster progress and mastery of skills.
The final goal of my research is divided into two main goals: the first consist in the definition of a methodological framework enabling therapists and researches to specify activities that can be executed in the platform; the latter aims to provide evaluation to the effectiveness of MSE in the care of NDD children.