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An AI Tool to Predict Engagement and ‘Meltdown’ Events in Students with Autism

Up to 71% of students with ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition) attend mainstream schools. It is important to provide students with autism with an environment, adjusted to their needs and free of any emotional trauma. However, research shows that mainstream schools are frequently neither educated nor equipped to deal with the needs of an autistic child, and give the necessary support. Without individualised support, it is highly unlikely that a pupil with ASC will make the academic and social progress that they should. 60% of the teachers in England do not feel they have had the adequate training to teach children with autism, and they feel that this situation is not improving (‘Ambitious About Autism’), and 40% of children with ASC have been bullied (Autism Education Trust). A staggering 70% of parents are not satisfied with the level of understanding of autism in their child’s school.

“Autism Europe” states that Education must be adapted, to allow:

  • assessment to determine needs and strengths,
  • fully informing and involving families,
  • training to help pre-empt or manage challenging behaviour,
  • individual education and support plans,
  • opportunities to learn skills and engage in socially inclusive situations,
  • and education and support to help prevent secondary consequences of their difficulties such as anxiety disorders and depression.

Our project aims to tackle early school leaving and to support the inclusive education of students with ASC by the provision of personalised learning pathways and support according to the specific needs of each child.

With our activities and intellectual outputs we aim to improve the understanding of autism both within school, and in the wider community and furthermore to provide a learning environment free of emotional trauma.

We aim to increase the likelihood that students with autism will make the academic and social progress that they should. Via the use of the project outputs, we aim to decrease incidents of challenging behaviour, leading to the improved mental wellbeing of each student, and decrease instances of absenteeism and bullying.

Our innovative mobile app will infer the level of engagement of students with autism in learning experiences, and predict ‘meltdown’ moments (even at the ‘rumble’ stage), allowing early intervention to pre-empt challenging behaviours.

Target groups

  • Teachers, teaching assistants, and special education needs coordinators in mainstream education, inclusive settings, and special educational settings.
  • Beneficiaries: students with ASC, and their families.
  • Stakeholders: policy makers, pedagogical experts, schools, school authorities and their umbrella structures all over Europe. Service providers supporting students with ASC; Local education authorities at all levels, Associations for teachers and teacher unions.

Start Date: 1 September 2020
End Date: 31 August 2023
Total Duration: 36 months

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