Building Communicative and Social Skills in an Adolescent with ASD Using Electronic Technologies (Gadgets)



The use of mobile technologies in the field of behavioral intervention in children and adolescents with ASD is becoming an increasingly common strategy. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. allow specialists to create a highly motivating environment, as well as to provide the most accessible and comfortable format for giving information, which has a beneficial effect on the quality of behavioral interventions. In September 2021 on the basis of the Dobry resource center, which provides comprehensive support for families raising children with ASD, the CyberNETiki project was implemented, aimed at teaching adolescents with ASD to communicate in an Internet chat. This article details the project’s methodology and primary results using student N data as an example. It also demonstrates an example of a short preliminary parental questionnaire designed to measure the level of gadget proficiency among adolescents with ASD. Our results show that the use of computer-mediated communication methods can be highly motivational and effective for developing literacy, speech and communication skills. It was revealed that teaching communication in a group format (online chat) can further contribute to improving adolescents’ communication skills due to peer imitation.

General Information

Journal rubric: Education & Intervention Methods

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The research was carried out with the financial support of the Charitable foundation “Art to be close”

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful for the help in organizing the classes and the opportunity to collect data for thestudy to the “Dobry” resource center.

Received: 30.01.2023

For citation: Burtseva A.R., Andreev S.S. Building Communicative and Social Skills in an Adolescent with ASD Using Electronic Technologies (Gadgets). Autizm i narusheniya razvitiya = Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2023. Vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 33–40. DOI: 10.17759/autdd.2023210104. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Arun P., Jain S. Use of Smart Phone Among Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disability. Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Mental Health, 2022, vol. 9, pp. 447—452.
  2. Burke M., Kraut R., Williams D. Social use of computer-mediated communication by adults on the autism spectrum. In CSCW’10: Proceedings of the 2010 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work. New York: Publ. Association for Computing Machinery, 2010. Pp. 425—434. ISBN 978-1-60558-795-0. DOI:10.1145/1718918.1718991
  3. Carrero K.M., Fuller M.C. Teaching adolescents with autism to text message requests using video prompting. Journal of Special Education Technology, 2021, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 44—53. DOI:10.1177/0162643419890247
  4. Cooper J.O., Heron T.E., Heward W.L. Applied Behavior Analysis. London: Publ. Pearson, 2020. 912 p. ISBN 978-0-134- 75255-6.
  5. Jurida S.H., Džanić M., Pavlović T. et al. Netspeak: linguistic properties and aspects of online communication in postponed time. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 2016, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1—19. DOI:10.14706/ jfltal163115
  6. Kiesler S., Siegel J., McGuire T.W. Social psychological aspects of computer-mediated communication. American Psychologist, 1984, vol. 39, no. 10, pp. 1123—1134. DOI:10.1037/0003-066X.39.10.1123
  7. Leung P.W.S., Li S.X., Tsang C.S.O. et al. Effectiveness of using mobile technology to improve cognitive and social skills among individuals with autism spectrum disorder: Systematic literature review. JMIR Mental Health, 2021, vol. 8, no. 9, article no. e20892. 16 p. DOI:10.2196/20892
  8. Lofland K.B. The use of technology in the treatment of autism. In Cardon T.A. (ed.) Technology and the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder. Cham: Publ. Springer, 2016. Pp. 27—35. ISBN 978-3-319-20872-5. DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-20872-5_3
  9. McCollow M.M., Hoffman H.H. Supporting social development in young children with disabilities: Building a practitioner’s toolkit. Early Childhood Education Journal, 2019, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 309—320.
  10. Mintz J., Branch C., March C. et al. Key factors mediating the use of a mobile technology tool designed to develop social and life skills in children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Computers & Education, 2012, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 53—62. DOI:10.1016/j.compedu.2011.07.013[A1]
  11. Ringland K.E., Wolf C.T., Faucett H. et al. “Will I always be not social?”: Re-Conceptualizing Sociality in the Context of a Minecraft Community for Autism. In CHI’16: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems. New York: Publ. Association for Computing Machinery, 2016. Pp. 1256—1269. ISBN 978-1-4503-3362-7. DOI:10.1145/2858036.2858038
  12. Stathopoulou A., Loukeris D., Karabatzaki Z. et al. Evaluation of mobile apps effectiveness in children with autism social training via digital social stories. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 2020, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 4—17. DOI:10.3991/ijim.v14i03.10281
  13. Supekar K., Uddin L.Q., Khouzam A. et al. Brain hyperconnectivity in children with autism and its links to social deficits. Cell Reports, 2013, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 738—747. DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2013.10.001
  14. Watt H.J. How does the use of modern communication technology influence language and literacy development? A review. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 2010, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 144—148. DOI:10.1044/ cicsd_36_F_141
  15. White S.W., Roberson-Nay R. Anxiety, social deficits, and loneliness in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2009, vol. 39, no. 7, pp. 1006—1013. DOI:10.1007/s10803-009-0713-8
  16. Withey K.L. Using apps to develop social skills in children with autism spectrum disorder. Intervention in school and clinic, 2017, vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 250—255.
  17. Yee H.S.S. Mobile technology for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Major trends and issues. In 2012 IEEE symposium on E-learning, E-management and E-services. Manhattan: Publ. IEEE, 2012. Pp. 6—10. ISBN 978-1-4673- 2389-5. DOI:10.1109/IS3e.2012.6414954

Information About the Authors

Aleksandra R. Burtseva, Charitable foundation “Art to be close”, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Sergey S. Andreev, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 676
Previous month: 62
Current month: 39


Total: 202
Previous month: 14
Current month: 18