How VR Helps Kids With Autism

In England, a specialist health facility uses headsets and data mining in virtual reality to support children with autism in the process of acclimatizing scenarios outside the school.

The high-tech approach helps students to adapt to the real world and enjoy new experiences as Virtual Skiing or Deep-sea Tauchen at Priory’s Court in Berkshire (Southern England).

Autism can cause stress to people who are unfamiliar.

The VR scenarios introduce children to situations like visiting a shopping mall or getting on an aircraft without leaving the comfort and safety of their classroom.

“Our young people, they have difficulties with sensory issues so they can find it overwhelming going to very busy places or transitioning to a new place,” Nuno Guerreiro, computing teacher at Prior’s Court School told Reuters.

“They like what is familiar, they like their routine. So the VR sets allow them to experience new realities and probably help them transition when they have to face a new place.”

Before the Court is concerned with about 95 young people at the severe end of the autism range, many of whom are non-verbal and unable to communicate their needs.

Big data can also support the charity. They are testing a new data collection system called Prior Insight, which includes a comprehensive picture of what they have consumed, how much they’ve performed and how they act.

“That information looks at things like incidents; seizure activity, food and drink input, toiletry input, personal care, any activities they’ve done, and any sleep data,” project leader Elaine Hudgell said.

“We’re hoping to not only increase our knowledge and awareness about the world of young people with autism at Prior’s Court, but we’re also hoping to be able to in time share that with the wider autism world,” Hudgell added.

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