Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a very common problem among children. As a result of this, children often do not pay complete attention in the classroom, thus, aren’t able to realize their potential. Through this project, we hope to help children overcome ADHD so that they can pay maximum attention to their classes. We will create a Virtual Classroom with exciting and interesting progress in the field of virtual reality technology and game design, and this, we hope, will help children to naturally develop resistance to realistic distractions.
Since poor attention results in slow cognitive, social, and academic functioning, it can prove to be a real hurdle in the overall development of children. But with new advances in the field of virtual reality, we have been able to come up with innovative therapies for treating anxiety and PTSD. What we seek to develop is a new virtual reality intervention to improve attention and functioning in children so that they can learn to overcome the distractions within a Virtual Classroom. In this project, we will experiment with the learning environment of children - they will be given cognitive tasks (such as, math) while in the background there will be virtual kids talking in the classroom, the sound of pencils being sharpened, a virtual teacher walking across a classroom, a student sneezing and such common distractions. Simultaneously, they will continue the therapy at home with Oculus Rift, while we will be studying how effective our approach is on
Researches show that problems with attention are quite common both in kids and adults. This gravely affects the academic performance of children, leading to a lower chance of graduating from school with good grades and even falling prey to substance abuse. The current treatment patterns only result in short-term benefits rather than long-term benefits. This calls for an effective, non-medication intervention to help people overcome distractions. If we are successful in developing such a treatment, it will hold great potential to help people cope with developmental disorders and psychiatric conditions, including ADHD, schizophrenia and autism. It will also be a great help in school and work settings where distractions are very common.
Primary goals: · To develop the software (using existing platforms and avatars) · To establish proof-of-principle · Pilot test feasibility · To gather preliminary outcome data After having successfully developed the virtual therapy classroom software with distractors, we will then test it on a group of children. The pilot results from this test will be used to fund future grants and large-scale clinical trials. Our project is a pivotal step towards developing an improved behavioral therapy for attentional impairments. Rooting in the success of this project, in future we would enhance our virtual classroom model into a more realistic one and make it so that it can target treatment based upon an individual's specific problems.
To run this project successfully, we require the following items to build the software: · The new Oculus Rift headset that will provide the children to get a 360 degree experience of their classroom - wherever they look, they will be able to look into different vantage points within the classroom. · Develop the software for building the virtual reality classroom. The list includes: -A set of avatars (characters) who will sit in the classroom and look like students and a teacher -Distractors one would find in a classroom. They are: · Kids talking to one another · A child sharpening a pencil · A teacher walking across a classroom · A clock ticking · A child sneezing We need quite a large sum of money to acquire all these materials and hence, we look forward to your generous help and support.