2022 International Conference on Child Development and Family Studies

Keynote Speech

Social Inclusion at Playgrounds – How to Include Children with Communication Difficulties

Date: 10/01/2022 Saturday
Time: 15:30 - 16:30 (Taipei Time GMT + 8)
Organizer: National Taiwan Normal University
Venue: live webinar (Webex)


No registration fee!

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Prof. dr. Carolien Rieffe


    To enhance social inclusion in schools for children with special needs, the focus is often on supporting these children with skills to ‘fit in’. Yet, many schoolyards are simply not designed to accommodate children with communication difficulties, which places these children on the outskirts of their peer group, missing out the opportunities to play and socialize with others. Sometimes simple adjustments in the physical, social and/or cultural environment can make major differences.

    In this presentation, I will describe how we address this issue in my research team, and what we observe in our research project at schoolyards regarding social inclusion of children with communication difficulties (i.e. autistic children, or deaf and hard of hearing children), using a data-driven approach via modern sensing technologies. I will also discuss how to improve the child’s surroundings taking into account children’s individual capacities and needs, thus enhancing the school environment in which all children feel welcome and respected.

    Prof. Rieffe is the Primary Investigator of the research lab “Focus on Emotions” at Leiden University. She is also a professor at the University of Twente and the University College London.

    Prof. Rieffe ‘s research lab focuses on the functionality of emotions and their impact on social development and mental health in children of all ages. Other research interests include the social development of children with hearing loss and children with Autism.

    Moreover, Prof. Rieffe works with multidisciplinary teams, including psychiatry, educational sciences, computer science, architecture, and public policy.