A Virtual Approach to Teaching Safety Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Recent advancements in the development of hardware/software configurations for delivering virtual reality (VR) environments to individuals with disabilities have included approaches for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This article describes a study comparing benefits of using VR to benefits of an integrated/visual treatment model when teaching safety skills to children with ASD in a public school setting. Participants were 8 children diagnosed with ASD who were randomly assigned to receive either VR or an integrated/visual treatment model to learn fire and tornado safety skills. Both groups improved in their learning and transfer of safety skills. The VR group, however, learned these skills in considerably less time. Implications and suggestions for the use of VR in educational settings are presented.

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