Category Archives: Social Skills Training

Virtual reality technology helping kids with sensory challenges like autism (incl. video)

“For kids with sensory challenges like autism, everyday experiences like popping down to the supermarket, crossing the road or swimming in the sea can be absolutely terrifying. 

But one Christchurch school has introduced something to try and bridge this gap.

With help from electronics giant Samsung, Allenvale School got hold of some virtual reality goggles.

And they’re proving a much needed portal for 10-year-old Kingston Friggin to enjoy school, where he once hated it.”

By Seven Sharp at TV New Zealand

Read more: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/virtual-reality-technology-helping-kids-sensory-challenges-like-autism-v1

The Party: a virtual experience of autism – 360 video

“What is it like to be autistic? The Guardian’s latest VR film offers a glimpse of how a person on the autism spectrum copes with a stressful environment.

The Party allows you to enter the world of an autistic teenager, Layla, who is at a surprise birthday celebration. You will hear her thoughts about what she is experiencing and how it is affecting her, and share the sensory overload that leads to a meltdown (an intense response to an overwhelming situation).

The drama provides viewers with a powerful first-person perspective on the challenges that social situations may present to someone on the autism spectrum.”

By Anrick Bregman, Shehani Fernando and Lucy Hawking at The Guardian online.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/07/the-party-a-virtual-experience-of-autism-360-video

See the Newcastle virtual reality room helping children with autism overcome their phobias

An immersive virtual reality room that helps children with autism overcome their phobias is now being offered on the NHS.

In 2014, scientists at Newcastle University found that virtual reality can help youngsters with autism spectrum disorder overcome their serious fears.

Now, the first NHS patients have been referred for treatment in what is known as the Newcastle Blue Room.”

By Katie Dickinson at Chronicle Live

Read more:

https://cdn.ampproject.org/c/www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/health/see-newcastle-virtual-reality-room-12593593.amp

Virtual Reality Helps Teens with Social Anxiety (video)

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“Virtual reality is proving to be a viable solution to easing the social anxiety teens with ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome encounter daily.

These teens go through tremendous difficulty developing the social skills to interact with peers and adults in what most consider normal social situations.

The Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas has been successfully improving these teens social anxiety via VR sessions, helping them to make friends and communicate openly.”

Blog by Raphael Konforti at VR Fitness Insider

News report by NBC News Today

Read more: http://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/vr-helps-teens-social-anxiety/

Stanford Experiments with Virtual Reality, Social-Emotional Learning and Oculus Rift

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“What can virtual reality, the technology that arguably takes the viewer farthest away from the tangible world, teach students about expressing themselves and interacting with each other?

Two experiments at two very different California schools [San Jose’s Alpha Public School and The Synapse School in Palo Alto] aimed to find out.

The members believe that “social and emotional learning (SEL) in its current state doesn’t engender real feelings in students because it isn’t immersive.

Often, SEL exercises involve students role-playing in pre-set scenarios that lack verisimilitude or immediacy.

It is difficult to imagine a teenager volunteering to participate in such a stilted interaction.

That’s where virtual reality and its accoutrement come in.”

By Blake Montgomery at EdSurge

Photo by Versatile

Read more: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-08-16-stanford-experiments-with-virtual-reality-social-emotional-learning-and-oculus-rift

Overcoming Fears of Public Speaking with ‘Speech Center VR’ (incl. audio)

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“Cerevrum is building an ambitious educational platform starting with training people to become better public speakers with Speech Center.

The app is designed to help people get over their fears of public speaking, but there are many other educational learning opportunities from a number of upcoming courses featuring public speaking coaches.”

By Kent Bye at Voices of VR Podcast via Road to VR

Image: Cerevrum

Read more: http://www.roadtovr.com/overcoming-fears-public-speaking-speech-center-vr/

Teens with autism practice driving in virtual reality (video)

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“Researchers are designing a virtual reality simulator specifically for teaching teenagers with autism spectrum disorder to drive.

“In the past 15 years, there has been such an emphasis, such an appropriate emphasis, on early identification and early treatment of children with ASD,” says Amy Weitlauf, a psychologist who specializes in autism. “Well, now many of these children are adolescents and adults, so we have started to work on providing them with the support they need to become independent adults.

“And one of those key life skills for independence is, for many people, the ability to drive.”

By David Salisbury at VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Read more: http://www.futurity.org/virtual-reality-driving-autism-1211602-2/

Can virtual reality make us kinder? (incl. audio)

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“A growing number of virtual reality worlds [are] designed not for video gaming or entertainment, but rather to change human attitudes, and increase the user’s compassion and empathy.

Jeremy Bailenson is the director of Stanford’s VHIL, which is researching these ‘social good’ experiences. He says the reason VR can work like this is because of its capacity for deep immersion.

Put on the headset, and you get lost in a way you generally don’t when watching a movie or reading a book.”

Image, text and report by Todd Bookman at WHYY

Read more: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/the-pulse/93964-can-virtual-reality-make-us-kinder

Future geriatricians ‘become’ Alfred, a 74-year-old patient, using virtual reality

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“[In a study at] University of Illinois at Chicago a virtual reality experience transforms the user into a 74-year-old named Alfred in order to see his perspective as a medical patient.

Seven minutes in the shoes of an elderly man whose audiovisual impairments are misdiagnosed as cognitive ones — and a story that students across many disciplines have worked together to create.

Their goal was to craft an interactive, experiential product that could be used for curriculum in geriatrics — the health and care of elderly people — because of predicted growth in future U.S. aging populations and a disconnect between patients and the students or doctors who treat them.

Becoming Alfred helps users empathize with and better understand elderly patients.”

Credit: Carrie Shaw

Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160518153418.htm

How virtual reality is transforming healthcare (incl. video)

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“With VR headsets selling out faster than manufacturers can create them, the future looks bright for mass adoption, and that could well mean that an Oculus Rift looks just as natural in the doctor’s surgery as stethoscopes and needles.

Here is a list of some novel uses for VR in mental health and beyond:”

1. As a treatment for paranoia

2. Providing phantom limb pain relief

3. As a super-effective pain killer

4. Helping PTSD sufferers live with their trauma

5. As a controlled virtual environment for alcoholics

6. As training for lazy eyes

7. As social cognition training for young autistic adults

By Alan Martin at Alphr

Image: D Coetzee used under Creative Commons

Read more: http://www.alphr.com/bioscience/1003387/6-ways-virtual-reality-is-transforming-healthcare