“A new virtual reality (VR) training program is giving police officers the chance to virtually stand in someone else’s shoes.
The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has launched a program to provide empathy-based training by simulating scenarios with people who are experiencing mental health issues.
Trainees use a VR headset to enter into a virtual world where they will have access to three different modules: autism, schizophrenia and suicide prevention.”
By John Lesavage/CBC News
Image & Video: Associated Press
Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/halton-police-virtual-reality-1.5376107
“VR is being embraced by therapists, counselors, teachers, parents and their children as a pivotal therapy tool to help those with autism to better communicate and connect with their family, friends, and the world around them.
Dr. Patrick Bordnick, dean and professor at Tulane School of Social Work came up with VR- Project Delta or VR-Δ, a virtual reality app that helps patients prevent drug and alcohol relapse by practicing self-control and awareness skills in realistic simulations where drugs and alcohol are present.
Dr. Bordnick has also created the app named VR-qualis est vita for kids and adults with autism. This app places participants in a realistic environment to help them learn communication, social skills, and how to interact within the home, school, and other environments.”
By Juanita Leatham at VR Fitness Insider
Image & Video: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Read more: https://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/how-vr-is-helping-children-with-autism-navigate-the-world-around-them/
“A clinician-driven virtual learning platform, tailored to young adults on the autism spectrum, results in improved social competency, a pilot study shows.
The findings, from researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas, in collaboration with co-leading authors at George Washington University and Yale, reveal that increases in socio-emotional and socio-cognitive abilities correlate with brain change.
Results included increased activation in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus, the brain’s socio-cognition hub, with gains linked to improvement on an empathy measure.”
by Dan Modano, Reliawire
Read more: https://brainhealth.utdallas.edu/research-topic/autism/
“Researchers [at the University of Malta] are using VR as an empathy tool to help neurotypical teachers understand their students with autism.
The researchers created a VR application that would help replicate the experience of an autistic child in their classroom, by the use of audio and visual tricks.
The person from whose perspective the film is shot sometimes doesn’t fully process stimuli, and a sense of distress is conveyed by a blurring of peripheral vision.”
By Rachel Kaser at The Next Web
Image: University of Malta
Read more: https://thenextweb.com/virtual-reality/2018/04/05/researchers-using-vr-help-teachers-understand-autism/
“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
“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
“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
“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/
“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/
“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