DTkid:Interactive simulation software for training tutors

In References on June 30, 2009 at 6:30 am

Randell, R., Hall, M., Bizo, L., & Remington, B. (2007).  DTkid:Interactive simulation software for training tutors of children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 637-647.


Without well trained and supervised tutors, the effectiveness of DTT is dramatically reduced (Smith & Lovaas, 1998) and, even with suitable supervision, ethical and practical concerns necessarily remain in allowing inexperienced tutors to learn and develop their DTT skills in direct interaction with children with developmental disorders.


Computer simulation has long been recognized as a means of providing people with experience of situations that would otherwise be inaccessible, hazardous, or costly to arrange. Previous research at the University of

Southampton has further shown that it is possible accurately to simulate carer–client interactions that result in severe challenging behavior among people with intellectual disabilities (Remington, Hall, Hastings, Bizo, & Brown, 2000).


Because computer simulation would appear to offer the potential both to address the clinical need for effective yet efficient tutor training and to reduce related ethical concerns, we originated ‘‘DTkid’’, a unique piece of interactive simulation software that presents ‘‘SIMon’’, a realistic virtual child with whom users can interact in real time.


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