Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by a reduced ability to appropriately express social greetings. Studies have indicated that individuals with ASD might not recognize the crucial nonverbal cues that usually aid social interaction. Social reciprocity depends on the ability to empathize with others, to be aware of emotional and interpersonal cues, and to respond appropriately; it requires joint attention and nonverbal social skills. Fortunately, there is evidence-based research which shows that augmented reality (AR) attracts the attention of children with ASD and allows them to focus on social cues. AR has also been proved effective for teaching social skills. However, there is a lack of appropriate instructional scaffolds in AR applications to help students organize learning materials. Therefore, in this study, we use AR combined with concept map (CM) strategy as a training tool to focus on the standard nonverbal social cues to teach children with ASD how to appropriately reciprocate when they greet others. The learner can integrate the AR with CM strategy to visually conceptualize the social scenarios in a tabletop role-play training platform. Single-subject research with a multiple-baselines across-subject design was used in this study. Our results showed substantial increases in the children’s target responses during the intervention phases compared with the baseline phases. Generalization probes were administered during baseline (4–8 sessions for 0.5–1 month), intervention (10 sessions for 1.2 months), and maintenance phases (4–8 sessions for 0.5–1 month) to assess the generalization and maintenance of learned skills. The three-phase test data suggest that the AR with CM intervention was moderately effective in teaching the target greeting responses to children with ASD. The practical and developmental implications of the findings are discussed.
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