Social and Emotional Skills Training with Embodied Moxie

by   Nikki Hurst, et al.

We present a therapeutic framework, namely STAR Framework, that leverages established and evidence-based therapeutic strategies delivered by the Embodied Moxie, an animate companion to support children with mental behavioral developmental disorders (MBDDs). This therapeutic framework jointly with Moxie aims to provide an engaging, safe, and secure environment for children aged five to ten years old. Moxie delivers content informed by therapeutic strategies including but not limited to naturalistic Applied Behavior Analysis, graded cueing, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Leveraging multimodal input from a camera and microphones, Moxie is uniquely positioned to be a first-hand witness of a child's progress and struggles alike. Moxie measures skills captured in state-of-the-art assessment scales, such as the Social Responsiveness Scale and Social Skill Improvement Scale, and augments those measures with quantitatively measured behavior skills, such as eye contact and language skills. While preliminary, the present study (N=12) also provides evidence that a six-week intervention using the STAR Framework and Moxie had significant impact on the children's abilities. We present our research in detail and provide an overview of the STAR Framework and all related components, such as Moxie and the companion app for parents.


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