Can an interactive environment foster the necessary social interactions required for children with cerebral palsy specifically with spastic hemiplegia and give them an opportunity for the functional training of their fine and general motor skills?
Games can entertain and teach children a wide range of tasks. In this paper, we are proposing the use of a system that teaches children with cerebral palsy vital social skills as well as giving them an opportunity to train their motor skills. In a project spanning eighteen months of a co-research and co-design process between multiple stakeholders, we have discovered many important insights into the development of children with cerebral palsy. This current version of the project features a system using the Microsoft Kinect and a funny, engaging character named Daring Dog. Daring takes the children on an adventure to find a friend and play a game where their bodies become an interactive ball catcher. Through previous findings with the co- design process we are getting to see first-hand how this game is excites and engages children with cerebral palsy.
Through the large co-research and co-design that has gone into this project, that there is still a long way to go. There are always more people to interview, capture valuable insights from and share their stories from. This project has turned from a small project with three members from a university subject into my main body of work. I hope to take this project further, and keep pushing for more things to get done. The design research techniques that I have learnt is about human centred design thinking and how by putting yourself into someone else’s shoes, we can empathetically find areas to solve and change someone else’s life. The practise of doing this is by gathering research and constantly pushing the boundaries of what humans can achieve.