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This programme claims to empower kids with developmental disorders through virtual training

Today, there are many programmes that are available online to empower children with developmental disorders. They are able to take the sessions, no matter whichever part of the globe they are in.

A new program based on virtual training is Charisma for Youth launched by a group of experts at the Brain Performance Institute at the Center for Brain Health in Texas, United States. It claims to offer support to children who lack social skills.

The program is based on cognitive neuroscience and over 350 children have taken part in it so far. Children undergo sessions where they can learn and practice skills in real time with trained professionals. Since it is interactive and open, it claims to also be a lot of fun. Clinicians claim they will look into the child's progress before and after the sessions.

However, not all experts are quite that taken in by such programs and say ut can have positive and negative effects.

I believe such a program can be good for children with developmental disorders like autism or ADHD because man is a social animal and needs to have social skills. It is good to interact via social medium because it can help them to ease their difficulties in facing real world interactions. But it definitely cannot be seen as a substitute for therapies or other programmes where the kid sits with a person in real. This programme must be used with caution and balance. -Seema Lal, Co-Founder, TogetherWeCan, parent support group

The program offers 45 minutes of virtual sessions every week which can be completed in five weeks. The clinician takes the child through real world scenarios in a virtual world setting. That way, the child will interact with others and get to do things on their own. According to statistics provided by the group behind this, almost all the children who have taken part have benefitted from this.

Worldwide online programs have emerged as a major tool of learning as they offer a wider access to a range of therapies. "Children with special needs will definitely benefit from this programme because online programmes are a great way of learning. I would definitely suggest this for my children", recommends Shiny Vinson, who is the principal of Navjeevan Special School in Kochi.

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