Feb 22, 2019
Exposing autistic children to situations they instinctively avoid in a safe, virtual environment permits at least 45% of them to conquer their fears and phobias. A study from Newcastle University just published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders utilizes an immersive projection video environment called the Blue Room with images the kids themselves can control.
The study tested 32 autistic children from 8 to 14 years of age with various fears including fears of buses, airplanes, and even dogs. A total of 40% of children showed improvement after two weeks and 45% of them did well after 6 months of treatment with personalized video scenarios.
One dramatic story involves an 8 year old named Harry. His fear of dogs was so severe that he would hysterically run across a road to avoid one, and he was oblivious to traffic.
After a total of 4 sessions, Harry became so comfortable with dogs that his family bought him his own. The his fear of canines never returned after spending time in the Blue Room.
#autism #phobias #virtualreality #immersion #healthnew #healthtips
Morag Maskey, Jacqui Rodgers, Victoria Grahame, Magdalena Glod, Emma Honey, Julia Kinnear, Marie Labus, Jenny Milne, Dimitrios Minos, Helen McConachie, Jeremy R. Parr. A Randomised Controlled Feasibility Trial of Immersive Virtual Reality Treatment with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Specific Phobias in Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2019; DOI: 10.1007/s10803-018-3861-x