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Occupational Therapy

Through a recent research conducted at the University of Haifa found that the autistic children improved their safety skills across the street after practicing with a unique system of virtual reality. Children with a certain degree of autism rarely have opportunities to experience or learn to cope with everyday situations. The use of virtual simulations that are used in this research allows them to acquire skills that will make them possible to become, in a way, independent, expressed professors Josman and Weiss, of the Department of occupational therapy at the University of Haifa. Filed under: Verizon Communications. The independence of children with autism depends on that he receive treatment in a natural environment. One of the main problems faced by them is their inability to learn how to cross the street, a skill necessary for an independent life. Acquiring this skill it would mean a step forward in obtaining independence in children.

Most of the methods to teach them to cross street have designed for practicing within the classroom, and have proven to be ineffective among autistic children. The best way to teach these children is through repetitive practice in natural environments, but the danger that entails learning in a real environment obviously prohibits this method. It is here where the virtual reality is very effective, as demonstrated by the team of researchers that included to Hadass Milika Ben-Chaim, former student in the program of occupational therapy to get mastery and Shula Friedrich, in charge of the Ofer school for autistic children, as well as Prof. Josman and Prof. Weiss. Six autistic children, between the ages of 7-12, spent a month learning how to cross virtual streets: waiting for is to change the virtual light in the crosswalk and watching from right to left to virtual cars using a simulator program created by Yuval Naveh. Children in the study showed a substantial improvement during the learning process.