“It Is Not the Robot Who Learns, It Is Me.” Treating Severe Dysgraphia Using Child–Robot Interaction

Thomas Gargot, Thibault Asselborn, Ingrid Zammouri, Julie Brunelle, Wafa Johal, Pierre Dillenbourg, Dominique Archambault, Mohamed Chetouani, David Cohen, Salvatore M. Anzalone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Writing disorders are frequent and impairing. However, social robots may help to improve children's motivation and to propose enjoyable and tailored activities. Here, we have used the Co-writer scenario in which a child is asked to teach a robot how to write via demonstration on a tablet, combined with a series of games we developed to train specifically pressure, tilt, speed, and letter liaison controls. This setup was proposed to a 10-year-old boy with a complex neurodevelopmental disorder combining phonological disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and developmental coordination disorder with severe dysgraphia. Writing impairments were severe and limited his participation in classroom activities despite 2 years of specific support in school and professional speech and motor remediation. We implemented the setup during his occupational therapy for 20 consecutive weekly sessions. We found that his motivation was restored; avoidance behaviors disappeared both during sessions and at school; handwriting quality and posture improved dramatically. In conclusion, treating dysgraphia using child–robot interaction is feasible and improves writing. Larger clinical studies are required to confirm that children with dysgraphia could benefit from this setup.

Original languageEnglish
Article number596055
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • dysgraphia
  • handwriting
  • human-robot interaction
  • learning-by-teaching
  • occupational therapy
  • serious-game

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