Personal Health

Autism: Aggression to better predict

For people with autism it is often difficult, if your stress level increases and a more aggressive outbreak is imminent. For caregivers, it would be helpful if you would give evidence, in order to act as a precautionary measure, and the outbreak might be averted. This could provide a newly developed portable device, such outbreaks reports with an accuracy of 84 percent a Minute before.

The behavior scientist Prof. Matthew Goodwin of Northeastern University in Boston has developed a wrist-portable device for people with autism, the heart rate, sweat production, skin temperature and arm movements monitored. On the basis of these characteristics, the device can output a warning if the stress level of the carrier increases, so that an aggressive Episode threatens.

Goodwin and his Team took in 20 autistic children with frequent aggressive outbursts measurements and recorded the corresponding changes. Based on this information, the researchers were able, aggressive episodes for a Minute in advance with an accuracy of 84 percent predicted.

That sounds like little, but Goodwin explained: "The excitation values of the border [in the case of autistic people] are already at the top. It only takes a little to cross the ridge. If we could notify the caregivers in advance, would prevent this, that you are unprepared, and you could potentially relax the Person and make sure that all in the area are safe."

Goodwin is confident that the technology can still improve and the forecasts are long-term. He describes that many of the families out of fear of aggressive outbursts to stay home: "You do not take your children to the cinema, to the Park or shopping. Some parents say that even an accuracy of 60 percent would be better than the chance you have now. Such a device would be invaluable."

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