Academic research behind The Transporters
The Transporters series has been evaluated by the Autism Research Centre for its effectiveness for children aged 4 to 8 with ASC (autistic spectrum condition).
The results are very exciting.
- In all tasks on which the children were tested, most caught up their typically developing peers.
- The results suggest that The Transporters DVD is an effective way to teach emotion recognition to children with ASC and that the learning generalises to new faces and new situations.
- Children with ASC who did not watch the DVD remained below typically developing levels.
Interview: The scientist and the parent's view
Professor Simon Baron Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge, talks about how the animations work and a parent talks about how the series helped her son.
Find out what others have said about the series.
How the research was conducted
Researchers compared children with ASC who watched the DVD for 15 minutes every weekday for one month with children with ASC who didn't watch the DVD. They were also compared to typically developing children who did not watch the DVD.
The children were matched for age and verbal IQ and the children with ASC were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group.
Children were assessed on four different emotion recognition tasks.
- Emotional vocabulary - children were asked to define the 15 emotion words from the DVD and give examples of situations that evoked them.
- Familiar matching task - children were told a familiar scenario that they would have seen in The Transporters DVD. They were asked to choose the correct facial expression from a choice of three animated familiar Transporters faces.
- Close generalisation of skills - children were asked to match animated familiar Transporters faces to situations they had not seen before.
- Distant generalisation to real human faces - children were asked to match animated unfamiliar faces to unfamiliar situations.
Read the full study
Download pdf document: Enhancing Emotion Recognition in Children with ASC - An Intervention Using Animated Vehicles with Real Emotional Faces