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Virtual conversation simulator to help adults with autism?

Virtual conversation simulator to help adults with autism?
18th March 2011

Adults with autism, who may require close care, could benefit from a virtual conversation simulator, new research has shown.

Over half of people with autism have normal intellectual capabilities but find it difficult to converse and interact with others in social and work environments.

Research published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that simulated social interactions with a virtual partner could help those with the condition to develop improved social interaction skills.

Brenda K Wiederhold, editor-in-chief of the journal, said: "Over the past two decades, simulations have proven effective at helping people with a variety of physical and mental disorders. This new application could make it so many with Autism Spectrum Disorder could function more effectively in the larger world."

Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Lincoln have said that children with autism could benefit from owning a pet, reports the BBC.

Scientists predicted that owning pets could help kids with the condition to develop social skills and relieve stress and are set to assess the effect.

Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.