Funding boost to bring 3D dolphins closer to autistic children

Posted on August 28, 2013

SINGAPORE - Standing in a darkened room surrounded by a curved screen, Gary Oh, who has autism, interacted with images of dolphins projected in 3D while soothing music played.

Together with 14 other youths and children with autism, Gary, then 17, spent 20 minutes each week for one year at this immersive lab at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where they played trainer to three virtual dolphins to encouraging results — their attention spans, somatic awareness of the surrounding environment, motor skills and non-verbal communication improved.

The Autism Resource Centre estimates that there are about 31,000 individuals with autism here and the Ministry of Health’s Child Development Programme diagnosed 610 pre-schoolers with autism spectrum disorder last year.

In their paper published in March on the project, the researchers noted that studies have shown that children with autism like technological gadgets and logical thinking, as they may possess “strong visual modality that accounts for their fascination with and propensity for learning from video and computer games”.

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Category(s):Autism spectrum disorders, Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development

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