Background: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by a reduced ability to understand the emotional expressions on other people’s faces. Increasing evidence indicates that children with ASD might not recognize or understand crucial nonverbal behaviors, which likely causes them to ignore nonverbal gestures and social cues, like facial expressions, that usually aid social interaction. Objective: In this study, we used software technology to create half-static and dynamic video materials to teach adolescents with ASD how to become aware of six basic facial expressions observed in real situations. Methods: This intervention system provides a half-way point via a dynamic video of a specific element within a static-surrounding frame to strengthen the ability of the six adolescents with ASD to attract their attention on the relevant dynamic facial expressions and ignore irrelevant ones. Results: Using a multiple baseline design across participants, we found that the intervention learning system provided a simple yet effective way for adolescents with ASD to attract their attention on the nonverbal facial cues; the intervention helped them better understand and judge others’ facial emotions. Conclusion: We conclude that the limited amount of information with structured and specific close-up visual social cues helped the participants improve judgments of the emotional meaning of the facial expressions of others.
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