Personalization of Computer-Based Technologies for Autism: An Open Challenge for Software Engineering?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is neurodevelopmental condition characterized by social interaction and communication difficulties, along with narrow and repetitive interests. Being an spectrum disorder, ASD affects individuals with a large range of combinations of challenges along dimensions such intelligence, social skills, or sensory processing. Hence, any computer-based technology for ASD ought to be personalized to meet the particular profile and needs of each person that uses it. Within the realm of Software Engineering, there is an extensive body of research and practice on software customization whose ultimate goal is meeting the diverse needs of software stakeholders in an efficient and effective manner. These two facts beg the question: Can computer-based technologies for autism benefit from this vast expertise in software customization? As a first step towards answering this question, we performed an exploratory study to evaluate current support for customization in this type of technologies. Our study revealed that, even though its critical importance, customization has not been addressed. We argue that this area is ripe for research and application of software customization approaches such as Software Product Lines.READ FULL TEXT