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New Blue Room Therapy helps children with autism to overcome phobias

February 25, 2019

Phobias are something that are hard to leave your side. Every person has phobia towards something. It can be for a short while or maybe even lasts for a lifetime. Parents of children with autism might have a tough time trying to deal with their child's phobias. Handling phobias of a child with autism can be different from a child who does not have a disability. Here is some good news for parents. A group of experts have developed a therapy through which a child with autism can overcome their phobias easily and in a fun manner.

The Blue Room Therapy is something through which the child will be introduced to Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) to beat their fears and phobias. The Blue Room will simulate virtual environments with the subjects in full-control of the situations. There will be a 360 degree personalised environment where the child will be introduced to that particular thing towards what they have a phobia.

Ruby Singh is the Co-founder of ALFAA Centre for People with Autism. Singh says that this new Blue Room Therapy is truly going to be a blessing for children with autism.

Visual perceptions are the beginning to cognitive learning. Most of the children with autism understand and analyze things better when they are shown pictorial representations. The Blue Room Therapy is something similar. Since this is a 360 degree environment, it will have a better impact on the child. This is a step beyond what is usually being done in schools for children with autism. It is definitely a great initiative-Ruby Singh, Co-founder, ALFAA

The child and their special educator, therapist or trainer will be under full control of the situation. They will navigate through the scenarios and explore things in detail. Once the child is completely comfortable and have clearly overcome their phobia, they will be introduced to their phobias in real life.

The therapy was introduced by a group of researchers at the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. They worked in collaboration with the Third Eye NeuroTech technology firm in order to make the project a success. According to the team, the study was conducted on 32 children with autism. 45% were completely cured of their fears and phobias in a time span of just six months. Meanwhile, untreated participants had become worse in six months.

Shakila Banu is the Co-founder of JDC Sparsha, a school for children with developmental disorders.

"This is a great beginning for children with autism to overcome their phobias. There are many children who have a phobia towards water. So what we do at our school is that we introduce the child to it by bringing a cup of water to the class. Slowly, he starts overcoming his fear until he is fine to even take a dip inside the pool. This new Blue Room Therapy is going to be better", says Banu.

Phobias play a crucial role in hampering the development of a child with autism. It can affect them in many ways. The Blue Room Therapy is definitely going to break phobias to give children a new lease of life.

ALSO READ: What causes autism? Some information

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