Science and Technology
publicado em 19/01/2013 às 08h00:00
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Virtual reality helps autistic children in living with others

With music software for iPads and use of avatar in a 3D environment, search the AM helps children to perform collaborative tasks

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In an attempt to circumvent the difficulties of autistic children to relate to other people, professors at the Federal University of Amazonas (Ufam) are developing a research project using music and virtual reality environment to help children perform collaborative activities. The goal is to get children to develop skills and begin to interact with each other.

The idea of ​​working with music was the master of Informatics Ufam, David Lima, which developed software for iPads that simulates a violin on which the autistic child can play music and learn about the instrument.

I did some research and found that children's interest in the violin was bigger then developed the software in which they can play and make music to focus on anything other than on themselves, explained.

The project entitled 'Research for Assistive Technology focused on the socialization of children with special educational needs through musicalization in immersive virtual environments' was funded by the Foundation for Research of the Amazon (FAPEAM), through the First Projects Program (PPP).

The study was coordinated by PhD in Computer Science with emphasis in Artificial Intelligence, teacher Thais Helena Chaves de Castro. Music is an important channel of learning. For a child with autism, it is not enough just to put it into a music school because she will not adapt. Then, through the project, she begins training in any instrument through software and already do a simulation in a 2D environment on the iPad, situations before they happen in real life, for example, screams of other children and External noises, the researcher explained.

<b> Virtual Reality to break barriers </ b>

Aiming at epandir studies on assistive technologies for children with autism, Dr. Thais Helena Chaves started a second project titled 'Adaptive Interfaces in Immersive Software Typical Difficulties for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to' in order to simulate a reality environment called OpenSim virtual, everyday situations for children with special needs spend interacting with other people.

We realize that with music the children were not able to interact with each other, it is already possible in the virtual reality environment of OpenSim, Castro explained.

"The OpenSim is a 3D environment in which the child will be an avatar and participate in the simulation of a purchase in the supermarket"

<b> OpenSim </ b>

The researcher Thais Castro explained that the OpenSim software will be two simulated everyday situations: a trip to the supermarket and an afternoon at the amusement park.

The OpenSim is a 3D environment in which the child will be an avatar and participate in the simulation of a purchase at the supermarket. In this activity, we can work behavior, spatial location and to draw up a list, she said.

In the park, are simulated situations in which the child has to give way to another child and interact with other avatars, which can be children or mediators (family or teachers). With OpenSim, the virtual environment can be installed on a local network and used by several children at the same time, clarified Nilmara Salgado, scholarship project.

The OpenSimulator (OpenSim) is a platform for a multi-user 3D application in which you can create a virtual environment customized for each desired reality.

The idea is to help children from 5 years to 14 years and young people with autism degrees of mild and moderate institutions attended by Manos Unidas Autism (Map) and the Amazon Institute of Autism (APA).

<b> Understand Autism </ b>

Autism is a change that affects the ability of the individual communication, socialization and behavior. This disorder is part of a group of syndromes called Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

Some children, though autistic, have intelligence and speech intact, others have serious problems in language development. Some seem distant and closed, others stuck to rigid and restricted patterns of behavior. The various modes of manifestation of autism also are called autistic spectrum, indicating a range of possibilities of the symptoms of autism. Currently, since there is the possibility of detecting the syndrome before two years of age - in many cases.

<i> information Fapeam </ i>

   Palavras-chave:   Autism    Virtual reality    Universidade Federal do Amazonas    Ufam    David Lima   
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