At Brain Station, we aim to utilise virtual reality (VR) to help students with special needs break down perceptual and societal barriers. VR is a cutting edge technology allowing individuals to experience a 3D environment and interact with it via a sleek head–mounted display.
Kids and teens that struggle with sensory issues can experience cause and effect without sensory overload. It has been demonstrated that virtual reality scenarios can be really helpful for your students’ social development. People with autism and Asperger syndrome often have phobias that limit their interaction with others. One child may be fearful of any social gathering, another of going shopping, while someone else may be afraid heights or be terrified to be in a crowd of people. These phobias can be so difficult for the child to experience, that often family members will go out of their way to avoid a situation they know will trigger the child’s fears. By going through VR scenarios, an autistic child can challenge and overcome their fears in a safe setting and in a way that gives them control.
A simulated VR environment allows the child to use an avatar to interact with others and reminiscent of a video game, the children move their avatar through the program while a tutor views the session and provides coaching and feedback to the child. The kids will have the ability to pause, repeat or review their avatar’s interaction inside the setting until they feel confident about the situation.
Thanks to virtual reality, learners will be able to increase their physical exercise, develop a better hand-eye coordination and decrease repetitive behavior. In classrooms, VR could provide a flexible support to special needs students at key stages in their development.
Possible learning scenarios are similarly limitless: for instance, a London Underground in which the individual could customise passengers according to comfort and confidence levels. Other VR settings will teach social “norms” – especially those involving spatial awareness, a recurring issue especially for autistic individuals. Overall, the approach to using VR in autism treatment is primarily focused on simulating real world environments and offering opportunities to address specific challenges associated with this disorder.
This could help increase physical and social safety across a wide range of scenarios: crossing roads, coping with traffic, sitting in buses – anything, in fact, that might help to manage expectations and behaviours in potentially sensitive situations.
Our VR learning tool is fun and engaging for the user, while allowing a supervising tutor to monitor and track the user’s progress. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to have more info about our new technology or arrange a trial session.