9/22 “Agency of Autistic Children in Technology Research- A Critical Literature Review?” -Bridget Hall

In Agency of Autistic Children in Technology Research- A Critical Literature Review? written by Katta Spiel, Christopher Frauenberger, Os Keyes, and Gerdaline Fitzpatrick, they discover that there is a lack of technology that fits the wants and needs of autistic children.

Throughout the article the authors discuss their research findings. They examined the various forms of technology that are geared to the certain needs of autistic children. The six dimensions they looked at were behaviour analysis, assistive technologies, education, social skills, therapy, and well-being. The authors found that the majority of technologies were created to help autistic children with developing their social skills, whether it be “acquiring them, facilitating social situations or supporting the children during these moments.” 

After reading this article, I agree with the authors in the fact that things need to change when it comes to developing new technologies for those with autism. Right now, autisitc children have little say in what technologies they need and how they are created. The authors found that typically researchers ask parents, caretakers, or doctors about the needs of autisitc children. It makes me extremely sad to think that these children who already struggle with communication are not having their voices heard. The authors described this unfortunate situation as “the children’s perspectives…[being] secondary in the evaluation of these technologies.” It would not be harmful to get some input from these children as the products and technologies are being made specifically for them. The authors did raise a counter argument saying that “simply including autistic children in design processes is not sufficient as a counterpoint if their participation is not fundamentally meaningful and shapes the type and meaning of the technology.” 


4 thoughts on “9/22 “Agency of Autistic Children in Technology Research- A Critical Literature Review?” -Bridget Hall

  1. I had no idea that such little feedback from autistic children is considering in the design and implementation of technology that is created to help them. It makes me wonder-how many other groups are left out of decisions about technology that is supposed to serve them? This is one of the reasons that I think diversity is so important in tech. Without having a truly diverse team building a software or platform, there are entire groups of people that are misrepresented or left out. If we want our technology to truly benefit the people it’s supposed to work for, I think representation in tech is a good place to start.

  2. Hi Bridget! I read this article as well, and I loved your take on it. It was so evident to me that technology needs to develop further in order to be optimal for people with autism. I totally agree with you, it is so upsetting that kids with autism are not having their voices heard or their needs met when it comes to technology when they already are pushed aside in many other spaces.

  3. I agree with you Bridget. I find it very concerning that we have not adapted and created technology for autistic children especially with the resources the technology industry has at its disposal. I think it’s a wake up call for the tech world, and it’s time to start creating technology that can help children with all different needs.

  4. Everyone should have the opportunity to use technology and enjoy the benefits that may bring. It definitely takes time and efforts to develop technology that be the most suitable for autistic children. However, I believe it would be successful sooner or later. For the elderly people, most of them cannot handle technology or smartphone well at the beginning, and now there are smartphones that are designed specially for them, and some apps and games bring happiness and convenience to them. If people want to achieve something, it just takes a major expenditure of time and energy.

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