Meltdowns among children classified as autistic is a dreadful experience. Such challenging behavior leads to self inflicting actions that injure themselves and sometimes others around them. It is usually observed when the child is trying to learn something new or when in a new environment. Teachers and parents try their best to avoid meltdowns but such behavior has no plan and can be difficult to predict. Here this project presents a novel solution that has been developed for predicting challenging behavior in autistic children, which will help parents and teachers prevent meltdowns and avoid stressing them too much.
Meltdowns usually occur when the person is trying to learn something new or when in a new environment. Most of the time, teachers observe such challenging behavior when they try to teach a new lesson to an autistic child. The inability to learn this new lesson despite repeated attempts can lead to mounting frustration that eventually results in a meltdown. In such situations, observing the escalating heart rates, electrodermal activity and skin conductance can allow the teacher to avert a meltdown by letting the child calm down. These vital body parameters are therefore paramount in understanding them.
E-tshirt is a t-shirt which has been prototyped with an embedded electrophoretic based display that that can reveal ANS data such as: heart rate, skin conductance response and body temperature. Eink displays are lightweight and flexible. They ensure best outdoor visibility by providing high contrast and reflectivity. Furthermore, these displays require power only when refreshing or changing the contents of the display and does not require power to stay on. Due to these characteristics, Eink displays offer the best solution for serving as a wearable display in this project. The entire project is open source and the documentation is available here.