In a virtual reality environment, autistic adults showed real-life, functional improvement after a combination treatment approach that included graded exposure to fear and anxiety-producing experiences, stated new pilot study.
The design and preliminary results of this novel approach are published in Autism in Adulthood, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article on the Autism and Adulthood website.
In the article entitled "Using Virtual Reality Environments to Augment Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Fears and Phobias In Autistic Adults," a team led by Professor Jeremy Parr from Newcastle University and NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. de-scribe a pilot study in which they tested a combined cognitive behavioral (CBT) therapy and immersive virtual reality approach in adults aged 18-57 on the autism spectrum. The partic-ipants received one educational session followed by four 20-minute therapeutic sessions of gradually increasing exposure to the feared stimulus to minimize anxiety.