Kean, Robert Neil (2014) An investigation into the efficacy of a game-based learning tool to assist school children with an autistic spectrum condition to overcome sensory difficulties. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis discussesan investigation that has explored the efficacy of a game-based learning intervention designed to assist children with an autistic spectrum disorder overcome sensory dysfunctions. The aim of the study is to verify, through examining past research and solutions, that there is an existing need for coping strategies to address sensory dysfunction.

The investigation aims to corroborate the background research by creating an intervention generated by participants on the autistic spectrum, their family and education support network that fulfils a need to minimise sensory distress. The overall purpose of the study is to show that a game based intervention catering to sensory dysfunction can be a successful application as a learning tool.

The design-based research methodology used reflected the game based and participatory process which drive the intervention‟s development. The data provided by the participants was instrumental in enabling a design to be made that ostensibly met the needs of its users based on the information disclosed.

Discussion takes place of the challenges that affected the investigation and how the direction of the study was steered as a result of the data acquired and adjustments that were made. The findings allowed a number of conclusions to be reached and the last chapter reflects on how the background research contributed towards the results and how the design of the development was affected as a result.

The final chapter deliberates on the autistic diagnostic process, the place that sensory dysfunction takes within this procedure and how the investigation highlights the need for more consideration to be given to sensory behaviours within this process. The thesis concludes with possible answers to the research question, accompanied by an explanation of the reasons for the outcomes. Finally, contemplation is given to the findingsand how the study could benefit from further research.

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