The development of social robots for children with autism has been a growth field for the past 15 years. This article reviews studies in robots and autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts social-communication development, and the ways social robots could help children with autism develop social skills. Drawing on ethics research from the EU-funded Development of Robot-Enhanced Therapy for Children with Autism (DREAM) project (framework 7), this paper explores how ethics evolves and developed in this European project. The ethics research is based on the incorporation of multiple stakeholders' perspectives including autism advocacy; parents of children with autism; medical practitioners in the field; and adults with Asperger's disorder. Ethically, we propose that we start from the position that the child with autism is a social being with difficulties in expressing this sociality. Following from this core assumption, we explore how social robots can help children with autism develop social skills. We challenge the view that children with autism prefer technologies over other kinds of activities (exploring nature or the arts), engagement with other living beings (animals),or that they lack interest in human relationships (particularly with close caregivers).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-39
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Technology And Society Magazine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2018

ID: 36771307