4
| News |

Treating Autism, Virtually

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Speaking of the University of Texas at Dallas, its Center for Brain Health gets a shout-out this morning in the subscription-only Chronicle of Higher Education: The center's using virtual worlds -- more or less a retrofitted Second Life platform -- to treat patients suffering from different kinds of autistic disorders. Therapists who used to role-play with patients can now set 'em up in front of a computer screen and let them go to virtual town with their avatars. Says the center's director, Sandra Chapman: "The clinicians can change the virtual world to increase the complexity of the exercise, control for sensory overload, provide motivation, and record feedback. It's very safe."

And it's a terrific exercise in utilizing the entire school's resources for a single purpose: The virtual world in which these patients wander was designed by students in UTD's game-design program. --Robert Wilonsky

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.