Cobb, Sue, Beardon, Luke, Eastgate, Richard, Glover, Tony, Kerr, Steven, Neale, Helen, Parsons, Sarah, Benford, Steve, Hopkins, Eileen, Mitchell, Peter, Reynard, Gail and Wilson, John
Applied virtual environments to support learning of social interaction skills in users with Asperger’s Syndrome
Digital Creativity, 13, (1), . (doi:10.1076/digc.18.104.22.16808).
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Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is an autistic spectrum disorder characterised by normal to high IQ but with marked impairment in social skills. Successful social skills training appears to be best achieved either in situ or in role-play situations where users can explore different outcomes resulting from their social behaviour. Single user virtual environments (SVEs) provide an opportunity for users with AS to learn social interaction skills in a safe environment which they can visit as many times as they like.The use of game-like tasks can provide an incentive and can also be used to guide the user through progressive learning stages. Collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) allow several users to interact simultaneously within the virtual environment, each taking different perspectives or role-play characters. Within the AS interactive project a series of SVEs and CVEs have been developed in collaboration with users and professional groups with an overall aim of supporting social skills learning. Initial evaluation studies have been carried out which have been used to both inform and refine the design of these virtual environments (VEs) as well as giving an insight into the understanding and interpretation of these technologies by users with AS.
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