Design of a virtual home for special needs children to learn life skills

Chung, Y. P. J., Cao, Q. and Cai, Y. (2021) Design of a virtual home for special needs children to learn life skills. In: Cai, Y. and Cao, Q. (eds.) When VR Serious Games Meet Special Needs Education: Research, Development and Their Applications. Series: Gaming media and social effects. Springer: Singapore, pp. 31-61. ISBN 9789813369412 (doi:10.1007/978-981-33-6942-9_3)

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This research sets out to use first-person interaction in virtual reality (VR) situations to teach life skills to children with Autism Spectral Disorder (ASD). A virtual home environment is designed and developed for children with ASD for life skill learning in a safe yet immersive manner. Teaching autistic children life skills may be challenging as they generally have cognitive limitations and behavioural problems. Hence, tasks that involve a certain level of risk are usually executed with accompaniment from their caregivers. To mould children with ASD to be more self-reliant, it will be good to provide learning in a safe, flexible, and adaptable environment. Supplying a propitious learning platform with a step-by-step process will be helpful in the progress of their learning. This research uses the Leap Motion sensor and the Unity3D game engine to build an engaging experience for the children to learn life skills such as using an alarm, brushing of teeth, and making a cup of drink. Experiments have been conducted in a special needs education school in Singapore. A group of students and teachers from the school have participated in the experiment study. Very good engagement and interaction in the developed serious games have been observed in this study. Feedback from teachers and participants are positive. In general, virtual reality is beneficial in addressing common learning problems of children with ASD due to its repeatability, predictability and clear guidance that induces safer learning situations.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cao, Dr Qi
Authors: Chung, Y. P. J., Cao, Q., and Cai, Y.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Published Online:05 May 2021

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