EASe Funhouse Video Game Helps Children with Autism Learn to Improve Sensory Processing

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 150 children in the United States is born with an autism spectrum disorder. These children can learn to cope with noise and improve sensory processing by playing the new therapeutic PC video game EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt from Vision Audio, Inc., a wonderful holiday gift idea for a child on the autism spectrum.

EASe Fun House Treasure Hunt video game helps children on the autism spectrum learn to cope with noise and movement.

Over time, the sensory events in the virtual world of the EASe game will create experiences that help the child with autism learn to cope with similar events in the real world.

The new therapeutic PC game EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt from Vision Audio Inc. uses 3-D game technology to help children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) learn to cope with noise and improve sensory processing.

Human beings experience the world through multiple senses -- sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and balance -- but children with an ASD have debilitating difficulties filtering and processing this continuous flow of information. They can be easily over stimulated by their environment. A touch may feel like a burn, lights may be blinding, sounds deafening, smells repugnant. Some children may appear deaf or develop perseverant behaviors like hand flapping. Others may have difficulty with proprioception and balance. These reactions are well known to parents of children on the autism spectrum.

Vision Audio has a long history of helping children on the autism spectrum. EASe (Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect) music CDs were the original disc-based listening therapy program, designed to stimulate, challenge and promote healthy sensory processing in children with an ASD. Tens of thousands of therapists have used them successfully since 1995.

Now, EASe games are the first high-quality 3-D PC video games designed as therapeutic teaching tools for children on the autism spectrum. Therapists have clinically tested 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.”

EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt is designed to stimulate, but not over-stimulate, a child who is challenged by sensory processing and organization.

“Our goal is to balance the 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 game will create a palette of experiences that help the child learn to cope with similar events in the real world. For example, a child can learn to associate crowd noise with a positive experience of playing a ball game. Bouncing around in the vehicles can teach them to manage their own visual orientation and balance in the real world."

EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt is an exciting and nonviolent video game that reinforces organization and attention through stimulation of the auditory/vestibular/visual triad. The video game encourages the child to listen and follow verbal and on-screen directions to scan the environment and to collect letters, words, faces and object treasures.

In EASe Funhouse, the player controls a tiny toy tractor careening through a topsy-turvy toy land, collecting treasures and listening to EASe therapeutic music. The game is set in six virtual playrooms, each presenting unique challenges. One playroom has elevators and three vertical levels to explore. In another, the player looks down through mesh panels onto a spacious environment. The child always controls his or her movement through the virtual world.

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 (quantity), images of human faces (male, female, happy, sad, laughing, frightened, etc.), 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 a testing environment,” said Mueller. “The game encourages the child to follow directions, attend and focus, explore and learn, but they’re never tested on what they know or don’t know.”

Instead, teaching is presented as a simple gift of knowledge. A soothing voice says to "Find the six red dots." If the child tags a happy man instead, the voice says, "That is a happy man. Find the six red dots." Information is visually reinforced, creating a mental image map from which the child can recall, when later asked to find the "happy man."

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.

A free demo of EASe Funhouse can be downloaded at http://www.easecd.com along with more information and research studies on EASe technology. Price is $39.00 plus $4 shipping and handling. Vision Audio Inc., (410) 679-1605, 611 Anchor Drive Joppa MD 21085.

Click for other EASe games

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. For more information on EASe audio and video programs, visit http://www.easecd.com. For therapist training, visit http://www.vitallinks.net.

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MARY SCHANUEL
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