About 1 in 54 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to 2020 estimates from CDC. ASD is characterized by severe pervasive impairment in several areas of development, social interaction, communication, and the presence of stereotyped behaviors. Although there is no cure for ASD, symptoms can be attenuated as the child acquires language and learns how to communicate. Early intensive behavioral treatment allows for relatively normal development in the child and reduces undesirable effects. One of the scientifically proven and clinically accepted approaches is applied behavioral analysis (ABA). ABA encourages positive behaviors, discourages negative behaviors, and improves a variety of skills. Despite the benefits of ABA, a number of problems have been associated with this treatment, including high cost, the need for an extensive amount of time (as much as 30-40 hours per week), and the lack of highly trained therapists. Integrating interactive technologies in ABA, which supports the user’s participation and learning, can reduce the aforementioned problems of ABA. Some commercially available motion tracking platforms and software can detect the signs of unusual behavior and augment the child’s motion; however, there is still a need for a comprehensive and fully effective technology to overcome the current limitations of behavioral therapies. 

Technology Overview

This invention is a digital therapeutic system that provides a lesson to the person with ASD to teach communication skills or behavioral skills. The invention includes sensor apparatus, memory, image display, and computing platform. The sensor apparatus, which are either visual or user interactive, generate an output indicative of the user’s action. For example, the child can put a glove on and navigate through different social situations in the format of a video game. The memory stores the individual user profile, including the developmental assessment profile, the treatment plan, and progress data. The processor, which is built on Microsoft’s® Kinect for Windows™ platform, comprises a personalized module that identifies a communication lesson or behavioral skill based on the user’s need, feedback module, and prompting module that selects the mode of interaction. The system’s teaching method starts with a selection of an application lesson based on the user’s profile followed by the adaptation of the application lesson to elicit desired user response. When the adapted format of application lesson is displayed, the user’s response is compared with the desired response. Finally, feedback analysis is performed to determine the effect of the lesson, and a second display is generated for the user to elicit the selected user behavior. This invention provides greater access to quality therapy lessons at home - whenever it is convenient - all through a virtual environment that is engaging and interactive. This system can be used as a motivational solution for the current practice of autism therapy at a lower cost and can improve the autistic children’s quality of life. 


  • Teaching behavior in fun and interactive format of a game
  • Having trackable format of teaching 
  • Increased access to therapy 
  • Lower cost 


 Behavioral therapy for children with ASD


  • License
  • Partnering
  • Research collaboration
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
John Aristizabal
Mitul Shah
Asim Mittal