Video technology benefits children with autism

Issue 9 2020 Surveillance

Sesobel is an NGO (non-governmental organisation) working with more than 1400 children with disabilities every year, including children with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), aiming to meet their medical, social, educational, and rehabilitation needs. Sesobel recently completed a new spacious treatment and rehabilitation centre with video technology that is unique in school and rehabilitation settings in the Middle East.

This centre is leveraging a specially developed monitoring and behavioural logging solution to help solve the challenges of diagnosing and treating children with ASD. Therapists can now easily record therapy sessions and quantitively track children's progress by coding their behaviour. This process helps to improve the treatment plan and enhance research and development in this field.

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behaviour and difficulties with social communication and interaction. Early behavioural and educational interventions have been successful in many children with ASD, where the treatment plan is based on a standardised and reliable assessment that requires the involvement of the entire team to be able to set up interventions that meet the specific needs of the child.

The new rehabilitation centre at Sesobel is equipped with a state-of-the-art behaviour monitoring and logging system, a project initiated by Systeminence in collaboration with Axis Communications and Milestone Systems to aid evaluations and enhance treatment. Using this video recording system, therapists are more likely to set up an individualised treatment plan for each child. The project provides the medical and educational team with accurate quantitative data to help in ASD diagnosis, define specific goals, and evaluate treatment outcomes.

Therapy challenges

The project focuses on enhancing the classroom experience of children with ASD by recording their behaviour and expressions through Axis cameras installed inside the therapy room or the classroom. With Milestone smart client, the operator can control the cameras from the control room without distracting the child or interrupting the therapy session.

During or after each session, the therapist can log behaviours directly on the video timeline inside the smart client, making all the behavioural details easily accessible, searchable, detectable, and quantifiable. All the data concerning the treatment goals and outcomes are stored in one place and accessed remotely. Specialists will be using the recordings to extract valuable information from the videos and customise each child's experience.

Over time, the therapists can accurately track the children's progress by studying their behaviour through recorded videos. A coding protocol is possible, allowing users to extract comparative clinical reports, where a timeline of the global sessions is possible. A descriptive statistical analysis could also be generated, making the clinical interpretation easier and more accurate. Moreover, the quantification of all these data will allow the medical team to carry out, in the future, research studies to better assess and treat children with ASD.


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