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Invitation to PhD Defense by Ali Adjorlu

Invitation to PhD Defense by Ali Adjorlu

Thesis Title: "Adolescent Under Construction: An exploration of how virtual reality can be used to teach social and daily living skills to children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder".

Time

29.04.2020 kl. 13.00 - 16.00

Description

You are hereby invited to Ali Adjorlu's PhD-defense.

Programme:

Moderator:  Professor Hans Jørgen Andersen
Department of Architecture, Design & Media Technology

13.00            Opening by the Moderator
13.05            Ph.D. defense by Ali Adjorlu
13.50            Break (coffee & tea will be served)
14.05            Questions and comments from the Committee. 
                     Questions from the audience at the Moderator’s discretion. Moderator should be notified prior to the session.
16.00            (No later than) End of Session

After a short meeting the Assessment Committee announces its recommendation.

Assessment committee:
Associate professor Georgios Triantafyllidis (Chairman), Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University Copenhagen

Professor Merete Nordentoft, University of Copenhagen, Department of Clinical Medicine

Professor Albert "Skip" Rizzo, University of Southern California, Institute for Creative Technologies


Supervisor: Professor Stefania Serafin, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology
Aalborg University Copenhagen. The supervisor is a committee member in a non-voting capacity.

A small reception will take place in the canteen area after the defense.

The PhD Dissertation as a download, can be obtained from Ali Adjorlu by sending an email to adj@create.aau.dk


Introduction:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social and daily living skills of individuals diagnosed with it. Consequently, upon adulthood, individuals diagnosed with ASD often rely on support from their parents or social services. Virtual environments have shown potentials in helping children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD in obtaining social and daily living skills. However, few studies have investigated how the new wave of 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) Virtual Reality (VR) hardware can help this target group in obtaining the required skills for independent adulthood.

In this thesis, I set out to explore how teachers and psychologists can use the new wave of consumer VR technologies as a tool to help children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD.
The emergence of affordable and high fidelity virtual reality hardware and software enables the opportunity to place the users diagnosed with ASD inside relevant, interactive virtual environments within which they can receive appropriate treatment for their social and daily living skills deficits. In addition to allowing the training to take place in virtual environments resembling the real-world environments within which the desired skills are to be performed by users diagnosed with ASD, VR hardware supporting 6DoF also allows the interactions in these environments to be similar to interactions required in the real-world environment of the desired skills.

In close cooperation with teachers and psychologists working with children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD, several VR interventions are designed, developed, evaluated, and presented in this thesis. These interventions address several social and daily living skills required for independent adulthood, such as shopping, safe street crossing, money management, turn-taking, sharing, disruptive classroom behavior, and social anxiety.

In some of the VR interventions presented in this thesis, the teachers are passive observers, while some of the VR interventions allow the teachers to control the VR intervention during training using the keyboard or mouse. Finally, some of the interventions allow the teachers and psychologists to be present in the virtual environment with the child or adolescent via HMD and VR input devices controlling a virtual avatar as well as the training session.

The design processes and evaluation results of these interventions are described in the papers presented in the second part of this thesis. Due to the low sample size, none of the studies described in this thesis can conclusively claim that VR is more efficient than the traditional methods to teach social and daily living skills to children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD. However, the studies do illustrate the potentials of VR and propose a variety of methods to allow the teachers and psychologists to use VR to address the social and daily living skill deficits of children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD.

 

Price

Free.

Host

Department of Architecture, Design & Media Technology

Address

A.C. Meyers Vaenge 15, 2450 Copenhagen SV. Auditorium 1.008, Building A.