“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/
“For a soldier who has endured an amputation, severe phantom limb pain can be debilitating.
Virtual reality company MindMaze has designed a medical virtual reality, augmented reality, and motion capture video game system that immerses the amputee in a virtual environment, where moving the existing arm will move the non-existing arm of the avatar.
Neuroscientist and MindMaze founder and CEO Tej Tadi says this “mirroring” tricks the brain into believing the severed limb is actually there, and has proven benefits in phantom pain management.”
by John Gaudiosi at Fortune
Read more: http://fortune.com/2016/02/22/mindmaze-treats-amputee-veterans-with-vr/
“A new video from The Economist claims that 2016 will be the year of the “virtual reality takeover”.
Perhaps most interestingly, virtual reality isn’t all just fun and games; it’s expanded into the medical world, offering new therapies for people suffering from autism, anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The video describes the use of virtual reality exposure therapy for a former soldier suffering from PTSD, noting that it can help ease the mental illness.
“We’re helping patients to confront and process difficult emotional memories by putting them back in simulations of what they were traumatized in,” Skip Rizzo, a psychologist who works with virtual reality exposure therapy, said in the video.”
By Lecia Bushak at Medical Daily
Read more: http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/virtual-reality-takeover-2016-may-be-year-virtual-reality-can-treat-anxiety-autism-367204
“Albert “Skip” Rizzo is a pioneer in virtual technology. His newest program is the the Virtual Interactive Training Agent, or VITA.
It was developed by the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, in partnership with the Dan Marino Foundation.
For people on the autism spectrum, Rizzo says, job interviews can be particularly daunting.
VITA helps people practice questions with a virtual interviewer.
By JENNY AMENT at WWNO
Read more: http://wwno.org/post/land-job-help-virtual-reality
“A new computer system is helping to make learning and social interactions safe and exciting.
Gary Jesch is the man behind the digital “curtain.”
Now, he’s unveiling Invirtua’s 3D computer system and says he hopes to help children suffering with social anxiety and other symptoms seen on the autism spectrum.”
By Kristen Skovira at 7NEWS
Read more: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/thenow/animator-creates-digital-avatars-for-autistic-children
“At the recent Special Education Technology Needs (SETN) conference in Sydney, Kieran Nolan, ICT technician at Wooranna Park Primary School in Dandenong North, ran a session on engaging and motivating special needs students with immersive technologies.
“We’ve had great success with students on the autism spectrum with the Titans of Space program using Oculus Rift [a virtual-reality headset]. The students virtually travel around the entire solar system, learning about each planet as they visit them.”
Students also upload their more artistic photos to a virtual art gallery.
“They take turns ‘walking’ through the art gallery to see their work,” Mr Nolan says.
Video is an old technology, but it is being used as a tool to teach special-needs students a behaviour or skill, says Shane Spence, who ran a session on Video Self Modelling. He is the director of meTV Education at Yarra Ranges Special Developmental School in Mount Evelyn, and streaming Australia-wide.
The idea is to show a child a two-minute or less video of themselves performing a skill they cannot currently perform.
“The learning is much more powerful when it’s yourself that you are watching and imitating,” says Anthea Naylor, a special education teacher at Yarra Ranges.”
By Cynthia Karena at The Age
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/assistive-technology-helping-students-with-disabilities-and-learning-difficulties-succeed-20150412-1mf6l3.html
“UC Davis is using virtual reality to learn how autistic adolescents manage to think, talk and interact at the same time. They hope the study will help the estimated 740,000 autistic kids in public schools get more from the classroom.
Dr. Peter Mundy is Director of Educational Research at UC Davis’ MIND Institute. He says there’s not a wide body of knowledge about how to teach kids with autism, who pay attention to different things than other people do.
“We really have to know how those children are developing, what impedes and what facilitates their development in school,” says Mundy. He says there’s a need to “provide information that advances the ability of teachers and schools to provide the right education for [autistic] children.”
By Pauline Bartolone at Capital Public Radio
Read more: http://archive2.capradio.org/articles/2012/04/30/virtual-reality-sheds-light-on-learning-with-autism
“Exposure therapy has proved a highly successful treatment for phobias, but it’s impractical for things such as fear of public speaking or flying. The answer may be virtual reality.
“Phobics know that when they see a little spider on the counter, they shouldn’t be panicking because technically it’s not dangerous,” says Stéphane Bouchard, a psychologist at the University of Quebec. “They’ll tell you, ‘I know this is crazy.’ But because they keep avoiding, their limbic system keeps associating spiders with danger or extreme disgust and they never undergo that corrective experience.”
For many types of phobia, however, traditional exposure therapy is not feasible. Crippling fears of public speaking or flying, for example, can be difficult to tackle practically. Over the past 10 years the solution has increasingly been the virtual world, utilising some of the technologies that brought us 3D cinema.”
By David Cox at The Guardian
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/oct/16/virtual-reality-phobias-public-speaking-flying
“Newcastle University’s Blue Room is being used to enable people with autism to experience the thing that terrifies them in a safe environment.
Experiences include crossing a bridge and talking to a shop assistant.
Using the technology, eight out of nine children were able to tackle the situation they feared and four were cured of their phobias completely.
As well as the room with screens, relaxation techniques and guidance from a psychologist were used in the treatment.”
By Sarah Griffiths at Daily Mail
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2678267/From-scaling-heights-going-shopping-virtual-reality-room-helping-people-autism-overcome-crippling-phobias.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
More info: Plos One – Reducing Specific Phobia/Fear in Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) through a Virtual Reality Environment Intervention http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0100374.PDF
“The scientific team at the Center for BrainHealth is partnering with researchers at Yale’s Child Study Center to test the feasibility of providing the research-based training program to young adults across the country. A person with autism can use the technology to “practice” and hone their skills initiating a conversation with a person they would like to meet, interviewing for a job, or standing up for themselves by confronting a friend or colleague. Practicing social interaction in a safe, non-threatening, gaming environment helps people reduce anxiety and gain the confidence and skills they need to attempt more social interactions in their daily lives.”
By Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman from the Center for BrainHealth writing in the Huffington Post.
Read more at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sandra-bond-chapman/autism-research_b_5077624.html