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Our project will transfer and further refine an innovative AI-driven tool to help teachers, support staff, parents and carers to better understand the behavioural and cognitive processes related to the emotional state of students with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) in classrooms.

Research has shown that engagement increases when activities are tailored to personal needs and learners’ emotional states, and that effectiveness of the learning process is directly correlated with learners’ engagement in learning activities.

Our innovative digital tool will infer the level of engagement of students with autism in learning experiences, and predict ‘meltdown’ moments, allowing early intervention to pre-empt challenging behaviours.

Teachers, support staff, parents and carers can then use this information (presented via a well-designed dashboard) to:

  • Provide personalised learning pathways and support according to the specific needs of each child with autism.
  • Improve the understanding of autism both within school, and in the wider community.
  • Provide a learning environment free of emotional trauma.
  • Increase the likelihood that students with autism will make the academic and social progress that they should.
  • Decrease incidents of challenging behaviour, leading to improved mental wellbeing of individual students, and decreasing instances of absenteeism and bullying.
  • Improve access to teaching of academic, independent living, adaptive behaviours and social skills.
  • Help prevent secondary consequences of their difficulties such as anxiety disorders and depression.

Using mobile devices, the level of engagement in learning activities of students with ASC, and their behavioural characteristics can be assessed in a non-intrusive manner using sensor data such as eye gaze, body posture and movements. Labels to train machine learning algorithms of engagement and challenging behaviour will be applied to these data.

Once trained across a suitable range of learning contexts throughout the EU, our innovative user-friendly tool (IO2/App) will allow teachers, parents, and carers to personalise learning based on individual needs, and pre-empt challenging behaviour.

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