Objectives: The present study investigates the therapeutic application of JeStiMulE to improve social cognition in a heterogeneous group of ASD. The usability of game plateform is also tested.
Methods: 33 individuals with ASD, aged from 6 to 17, with an IQ from 40 to 129. They played with JeStiMulE for 4 weeks (one hour twice a week). They were tested before and after training using social cognition tasks. These tasks included not only the game’s avatars but also real characters, in order to investigate both the learning and generalisation potential of JeStiMulE. The usability of plateform game was evaluated by an HCI questionnaire.
Results: The results revealed a significant improvement on social cognition after using JeStiMulE. This improvement could be observed for both avatars and real characters suggesting that the progress on social cognition has the potential to extend from the game to real-life settings. Importantly, this improvement was found to be IQ-, verbal- and age-independent. The results also revealed that the innovative HCI elements of JeStiMulE were particularly adapted to the special needs of people with ASD.
Conclusions: JeStiMulE can be beneficial to all individuals in the ASD spectrum, who are motivated to play.