Social Skills Training in VR
Currently, over 67,000 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) live in Canada. In Ontario, over 21,000 people are waiting for diagnosis and therapy, and over 100,000 Ontarians are on the Autism Spectrum. Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), the main therapy for Autism, is an intensive behavioral intervention that is custom fitted for every child and delivered over hundreds of hours by trained therapists. The costs of designing and running an ABA program are between $30-$60,000 a year, and mostly falls on the shoulders of parents, with limited government contribution reaching $18,000 in Ontario. The estimated cost of ABA therapy to the Canadian economy is over 6 billion dollars.
Virtual Reality (VR) is a 3D multi sensory technology that can generate realistic experiences using computer visualization. Until recently, the high cost of VR hardware prevented large scale adoption of these technologies. However, recent breakthroughs are merging VR technology with popular mobile devices to provide promising avenues for large scale adoption of VR technology. We are harnessing a mobile-VR platform to provide low cost educational and therapeutic solutions for many families struggling with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).