Enhancing emotion recognition in children with autism spectrum conditions: an intervention using animated vehicles with real emotional faces

J Autism Dev Disord. 2010 Mar;40(3):269-79. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0862-9. Epub 2009 Sep 11.


This study evaluated The Transporters, an animated series designed to enhance emotion comprehension in children with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). n = 20 children with ASC (aged 4-7) watched The Transporters everyday for 4 weeks. Participants were tested before and after intervention on emotional vocabulary and emotion recognition at three levels of generalization. Two matched control groups of children (ASC group, n = 18 and typically developing group, n = 18) were also assessed twice without any intervention. The intervention group improved significantly more than the clinical control group on all task levels, performing comparably to typical controls at Time 2. We conclude that using The Transporters significantly improves emotion recognition in children with ASC. Future research should evaluate the series' effectiveness with lower-functioning individuals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emotions*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Pictures / statistics & numerical data
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Recognition, Psychology*
  • Social Perception
  • Treatment Outcome