Autism Awareness Month, EASe Video Games Are Therapeutic Fun For Kids With Autism
"During Autism Awareness Month, we want to remind parents that they can have fun with their kids while helping them cope with auditory and balance issues," said Bill Mueller, president of Vision Audio, Inc. in Joppa, Maryland. Mueller is the developer of EASe video games and audio CDs, therapeutic tools for children on the autism disorder spectrum and those diagnosed with auditory hypersensitivity, hyperacusis, central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) or sensory integration disorder.
"Sensory processing is one of the many things Izeah has a very hard time with," said Lily Ashley of San Diego, the mother of a six-year-old boy with autism. "The EASE Funhouse video game has helped him focus and concentrate. He says 'the music makes my ears happy.' His therapist even noticed a dramatic change. No matter how much he has loved other toys, they have not had this effect on him."
Vision Audio Inc. created the popular EASe (Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect) music CD series in 1995. Since then, tens of thousands of parents, thousands of therapists and hundreds of nonprofit organizations have used EASe music CDs to help auditory hypersensitive children learn to cope with noise. EASe video games are the first high-quality, 3-D PC games designed as therapeutic teaching tools for children on the autism spectrum. Therapists have clinically tested the nonviolent EASe video games since 2007 with positive results.
"There is great value in the music, visual tracking, motor control and visual-vestibular input portion/components of the EASe program," said therapist Wendy Aeling of Waconia, Minnesota. "The CD wraps so many good therapeutic qualities into one fun game. Kids love it and frequently ask to use it."
The EASe Funhouse video game is designed to stimulate, but not over-stimulate, a child who is challenged by sensory processing and organization.
"Our goal is to balance the autistic child's sensory experiences," said Bill Mueller, president of Vision Audio in Joppa, Maryland. "Too much stimulation can result in fight-or-flight responses. Too little stimulation and we won't get past the child's existing sensory defense mechanisms."
"Over time, the sensory events in the virtual world of the EASe video game will create a palette of experiences that help the child with autism learn to cope with similar events in the real world. For example, he can learn to associate crowd noise with a positive experience of playing a ball game. Bouncing around in the vehicles can teach him to manage visual orientation and balance in the real world."
EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt reinforces organization and attention by stimulating the auditory/vestibular/visual triad. The video game encourages the child with autism to listen and follow verbal and on-screen directions to scan the environment and to collect letters, words, faces and object treasures.
The educational aspect of the game is simple and effective. A treasure is shown on the screen and the child is instructed to find and tag it in the 3-D world. Treasures include words, dot cards to teach quantity, images of human faces with various emotions, colors and geometric shapes. Features such as ball games challenge a child's hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills.
"EASe Funhouse is a teaching rather than testing environment, a simple gift of knowledge," said Mueller. "The game encourages the child with autism to follow directions, attend and focus, explore and learn. They're never tested on what they know or don't know."
EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt is appropriate for children six and up, but younger children can benefit from sitting on a parent's lap, wearing headphones, while the parent "drives."
Vision Audio Inc. of Joppa, Maryland, creates therapeutic audio CDs and PC video games to assist children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, ADD, ADHD, Down Syndrome and other neurological conditions, learn to cope with noise and sensory hypersensitivity issues. In 1995, Vision Audio created the Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect EASe CD series, now used worldwide by tens of thousands of families as well as sensory integration, physical and occupational therapists, school systems and organizations to treat brain-injured children. Vision Audio's home-based therapeutic products allow families to improve their children's sensory coping skills, while independent therapist-directed programs like Vital Links' Therapeutic Listening® program train therapists to direct and monitor the use of EASe CDs.
Source: Vision Audio Inc.
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