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Matching Emotions

The understanding and display of empathy and appropriate emotions of both others and ones self is very difficult for many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Facial expressions, other body language, verbal intonation and responses reflecting emotion are all often misunderstood or not understood at all. Inappropriate responses to situations may occur, for example, laughing or giggling when someone is hurt or upset. These traits affect social relationships and may cause anxiety and behavioural issues.

Robbie the Robot helps children with autism to recognise emotions. The game integrates 3D animations and a real persons face, to communicate the emotion that the character is feeling. Robbie the Robot is a mechanical character on a journey to find his missing hat. Many autistic children find mechanical objects engaging and by combining this with a real human face the aim is for the child to practice indentifying emotions in a non-confrontational environment that they enjoy. The game reinforces the following keywords, which can be used as a tool by parents and teachers for encouraging positive behaviours in real life situations; 'happy', 'sad', 'angry', 'surprised'.