Category: VR/AR

For children with autism, the use of VR could be a game-changer

by Heres1988
Both adults and kids are into using smartphones, smart watches, TVs, gaming technology and computers on almost a daily basis and think no more of than just being a good time. However, there are some kids out there, along with some adults, who are fighting autism and are either minimally verbal or completely non-verbal and they are using voice apps and iPads to speak out for them and as a tool for education every day. As a medium for education and communication, technologies like the voice apps and iPad have lead teams supporting autism and the parents to the doorstep of VR (Virtual Reality) and is hence proving to have a crucial role in treating and teaching the people suffering from autism. As per the CDC and Autism Speaks, the research has shown that in the United States, one in every fifty-nine (which is one in thirty-seven boys and one in one hundred and fifty-one girls) have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Children and adults with this disorder face challenges in social skills, behaviour, in verbal and in non-verbal communication, along with issues in attention and sensory areas that effect their lives, however they also portray unique quirks, preferences and identities just as anyone else would. Virtual reality is nor just all about exercising or playing tons of tough rhythmic games such as Beat Saber or puzzle games like Rangi which are mind flexing games. VR is nor being accepted by councillors, teachers, therapists, parents and the children as the central tool for helping those who are suffering from autism to communicate in a better way and in connecting with their friends, family and the world all around them. VR games made specially for people with ASD like Playground VR, Astropolis and non-VR software, example: Sketchup, have leveraged the most powerful motivator of technology and VR as both a way of playing and an opportunity for learning. To build reciprocal social and communication skills, like for expression of right kind of responses, body and facial cues, which are really a challenge for the people with autism. Dr. Daniel Yang undertook a small study in which young adults were made to wear a VR headset and made to use a program that would track the expressions on their face and then project them on to a virtual avatar. When the participants saw their own body and facial cues on the projections, with the help of specialists in therapy, that also assisted them in reinforcing their looking for body and facial cues for other people. The industry working on VR has a big role to play in shifting how therapists, specialists, parents and doctors use in helping children who have autism in succeeding socially and learning in a different way. The innovators in the area of virtual reality enterprise‌‌, namely developers, studios and creators, now have the technology at their disposal for the creation of apps, and games that will go a long way in helping people who are suffering with autism and other disorders to do with development in connecting and communicating with the other people and the entire world around them. We cannot wait to see how and what VR apps, games and the experiences will rise up to the occasion and will impact people with autism next.