Gamified mHealth App Launched For Children With Autism

1-19-2014 9-04-37 PM

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) launches a suite of smartphone games designed with the goal of helping children with autism learn new skills and concepts. The games are all part of a new app called Camp Discovery. The app, which is free, presents kids with educational games that were built on the same evidence-based behavioral principles that have formed the foundation of traditional CARD curriculum for 20 years.

1-19-2014 8-55-24 PM

Camp Discovery help kids explore new concepts through games that rely on task repetition, sorting, and matching. The app runs on a minimalist, and easy-to-understand drag-and-drop user interface. Games can be tailored to deliver lessons within a number of different themes, based on an individual’s personality and interests. Players are also rewarded for correct responses with both visual and auditory reinforcement, based on their individual preferences.

“Camp Discovery incorporates preference assessments, which sets it apart from other children’s learning apps.  The component is used in behavioral intervention to deliver preferred rewards as reinforcement for correct answers. The app addresses the demand for mobile educational solutions that use proven techniques.” – Dennis Dixon, Ph.D., chief strategy officer at CARD.

Once a child has correctly answered a certain number of questions, the app will launch into a “mini-game” to give them a break from learning, provide an additional reward, and keep them engaged. The app covers a wide variety of topics, including: body parts, emotions, activities, objects, numbers, and colors. CARD is working with researchers in the field of autism to continue expanding the selection of games and topics that Camp Discovery addresses.

The app is voice guided, and  designed to require little, if any, parental supervision. As children play the games, educational progress and achievements are tracked over time on a graph so that parents can follow along and further reinforce the learning experience.


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