Autism: virtual reality therapy works wonders

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Adriana Gil
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Summary

  • Autism: VR helps kids overcome symptoms

In partnership with Shanghai Invision Digital Technology Co, researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University have developed a virtual reality system to assist in the care and treatment of children with autism. Tested on more than 1000 children from 3 to 12 years old, this therapy of a new kind is revealed very effective in improving perception that autistic people have in other people and their environment.



Rather than using images to present objects or explain situations to autistic children, as teachers generally do, virtual reality allows them to be immersed in a realistic virtual environment. While autistic people are often easily distracted, VR allows them to be captivated.

Autism: VR helps kids overcome symptoms

Le system includes 5 games in VR. For example, in one of the games, the user walks to a wall with pictures hanging on it representing different facial expressions. The child should click on similar expressions. While autistic people generally hate looking at people's faces or observing their expressions, this game can get them used to it.

Another game offers the child to row in order to lead a virtual boat to a shore. This game aims to improve physical coordination and the sense of direction of distance in young people with autism.

In addition to allowing children to have fun while training, VR makes it possible to recreate real-world situations at a lower cost. Subsequently, the researchers plan to use virtual reality to simulate social situations in order to allow children to improve their communication and be able to integrate into society.



For example, children can visit virtual classrooms or restaurants and meet characters in order to gradually learn to react to different situations. The simulations will also allow them to learn to cross the road or to drive a bus. in order to gain autonomy.



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