The primary aim of this chapter is to show how the specific cognitive, behavioral and motivational patterns characterizing individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) lead to very specific needs for support and inclusion, and what are the core approaches to exploit information and communication technology for fulfilling these needs. Accordingly, a short introduction is given to the basic facts about ASDs first. We show that ASDs are human neurocognitive developmental disorders, where biological foundations, in interaction with some other factors, lead to atypical patterns of key human abilities. Consequently, individuals with ASD show often deep difficulties in social engagement, social participation, as well as in daily life management. These difficulties, in turn, give way to a high risk of social isolation and marginalization. We argue that there are no means to eliminate the causes of social and self-management difficulties, due to their complexities, but there exists a set of well-established, partly evidence-based psycho-educational approaches that offer principles and tools to support affected people effectively. In the third part of the chapter we overview of the existing key approaches to using ICT tools for supporting individuals on the autism spectrum, with an emphasis not primarily on technological but on functional aspects. A map of this highly specific but growing field is outlined, with the HANDS system localized on it. Finally, on the basis of previous argumentations and reviews, we summarize a few key requirements for designing digital support systems for individuals with ASD, as well as for monitoring their usage and testing their efficiency.
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