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Evaluating and Enhancing Driving Ability among Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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Annual rept. 30 Sep 2012-29 Sep 2013

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The purpose of this Idea Development award is to evaluate the additive benefits of automated feedback and eye tracking to standard human-directed training of driving skills for those who are diagnosed with high functioning autism and have a learner s permit. The goal for year 1, which began when funding arrived on Sept 30, 2012, was to secure and operationalize the software to provide automated feedback, and to recruit and train 20 drivers, 10 receiving standard training and 10 receiving automated feedback training. During year 1, we focused on developing automated feedback, which involved creating computer-generated instruction informing drivers when their driving performance exceeded established thresholds for different driving parameters, e.g. the simulator says Speeding when the driver exceeds the posted speed limit by 5mph. To date we have established the automated feedback training protocol, and consented 7 subjects and completed training with 6. Our partner site, the University of Iowa, is also training 20 subjects using identical equipment and procedures for greater external validity of our findings. All of our participants have been able to engage in the driving training, and none of them have experienced simulation adaptation syndrome.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Cybernetics

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