About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Social Skills Of Autistic Individuals Can Be Improved By Virtual Reality Training

by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on September 21, 2016 at 11:41 AM
Font : A-A+

Social Skills Of Autistic Individuals Can Be Improved By Virtual Reality Training

Most children with high-functioning autism have above average intellectual capabilities but they often experience social difficulties.

Deficits in social communication and difficulty inhibiting thoughts and regulating emotions can lead to social isolation and low self-esteem. However, new research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas shows that a new virtual reality training program is producing positive results.

Advertisement


"Individuals with autism may become overwhelmed and anxious in social situations," said Nyaz Didehbani, Ph.D., a research clinician at the Center for BrainHealth. "The virtual reality training platform creates a safe place for participants to practice social situations without the intense fear of consequence."

For the study, thirty young people ages 7 to 16 with high-functioning autism were matched into groups of two. The teams completed 10, one-hour sessions of virtual reality training over a 5-week period. Participants learned strategies and practiced social situations such as meeting a peer for the first time, confronting a bully, and inviting someone to a party. Participants interacted with two clinicians through virtual avatars. One clinician served as a coach, providing instructions and guidance, while the other was the conversational partner who played a classmate, bully, teacher or others, depending on the scenario in the video-game-like world.
Advertisement

The participants who completed the training demonstrated improved social cognition skills and reported better real-world relationships. Neurocognitive testing showed significant gains in emotional recognition, understanding the perspective of others and the ability to problem solve. The findings were published in the journal Computers and Human Behavior and supported by grants from the Rees-Jones Foundation, Sparrow Foundation, Lattner Foundation, and Crystal Charity Ball.

"This research builds on past studies we conducted with adults on the autism spectrum and demonstrates that virtual reality may be a promising and motivating platform for both age groups," said Tandra Allen, M.S., head of virtual training programs at the Center for BrainHealth. "This was the first study to pair participants together with the goal of enhancing social learning. We observed relationships in life grow from virtual world conversations. We saw a lot of growth in their ability to initiate and maintain a conversation, interpret emotions and judge the quality of a friendship."

"It's exciting that we can observe changes in diverse domains including emotion recognition, making social attribution, and executive functions related to reasoning through this life-like intervention," said Daniel Krawczyk, PhD, associate professor at The University of Texas at Dallas and Debbie and Jim Francis Chair at BrainHealth at the Center for BrainHealth. "These results demonstrate that core social skills can be enhanced using a virtual training method".

Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Get Involved and Stand Up for Human Rights on Human Rights Day 2022
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Macronutrients Calculator for Weight Loss
View all
News Archive
Date
Category
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Autism 

Most Popular on Medindia

Blood - Sugar Chart Color Blindness Calculator Selfie Addiction Calculator How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips The Essence of Yoga Hearing Loss Calculator Blood Pressure Calculator Post-Nasal Drip Iron Intake Calculator Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects
open close
CONSULT ONLINE WITH A DOCTOR

×

Social Skills Of Autistic Individuals Can Be Improved By Virtual Reality Training Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests