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Virtual Reality as Treatment Tool for Children with Autism

  • Michelle WangEmail author
  • Evdokia Anagnostou

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR), a computer-based simulation of the real world, provides a multisensory, multidimensional medium within which users are able to interact in real time. VR is gaining support as a potentially effective tool in autism treatment because of its ability to engage and motivate children with autism while offering certain therapeutic advantages. VR can merge existing approaches to autism treatment that have been traditionally difficult to integrate and can also provide the essential components of autism treatment that are well established in the field. Overall, the approach to using VR in autism treatment is primarily focused on simulating real work environments and offering opportunities to address specific challenges associated with this disorder. The majority of VR programs have been developed to improve the core, diagnostic impairments in autism, particularly social and communication behaviors; however, there are recent programs that focus on safety behaviors as well as underlying cognitive or sensory impairments. Early research exploring VR in autism treatment has revealed great potential for VR as a therapeutic tool; however, the problem of generalization, or skill transfer to new environments, still remains a major difficulty. Future technological developments and continued research in this area will likely focus on overcoming this barrier.

Keywords

Virtual Reality Virtual Environment Fire Safety Virtual Reality System Autism Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, Department of MedicineQueen‘s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Toronto, Bloorview Research InstituteTorontoCanada

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