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Calls to Action

The Use and Understnading of Virtual Environments by Adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Study: 
Parsons, S., Mitchell, P., and Leonard, A., (2004), The Use and Understanding of Virtual Environments by Adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(4), 449-466.
Design: 
The potential of virtual environments for teaching people with autism has been positively promoted in recent years. The present study aimed to systematically investigate this potential with 12 participants with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs), each individually matched with comparison participants according to either verbal IQ or performance IQ, as well as gender and chronological age. The majority of ASD subjects seemed to understand the VEs as a representation of reality. However several subjects lacked spatial awareness in the VE, a result that could not be explained by executive dysfunction or general motor difficulty.

The potential of virtual environments for teaching people with autism has been positively promoted in recent years. The present study aimed to systematically investigate this potential with 12 participants with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs), each individually matched with comparison participants according to either verbal IQ or performance IQ, as well as gender and chronological age. Participants practised using a desktop ?training? virtual environment, before completing a number of tasks in a virtual caf