In 2019, Prior's Court began exploring using Virtual Reality as a complementary tool to our existing multi-disciplinary approach in supporting autistic young people with complex needs.

Five years on, Virtual Reality is still a part of our teaching approach with our IT Learning Specialist Daniel Soler Lopez and Learning Autism Practitioner Harvey Beavan leading the project.

These are the areas Daniel and Harvey focus on:

Social Skills:

  • Social Interaction: young people can practice interacting with others or even with pets, in a safe virtual space. They can learn how to make friends and talk in different social situations.
  • Emotion Recognition: In VR, young people can learn to recognise and understand different facial expressions and emotions. This helps them connect better with other people  

Daily Living Skills:

  • Task Training: VR helps young people practise daily activities like crossing the street, shopping, or visiting the dentist. This helps them feel more confident and prepared for real-life situations.
  • Transitions and Changes: We use VR to show young people what it's like to move to a new school or a new house. This helps them get used to changes in their environment.

Emotional Regulation:

  • Relaxation Techniques: In VR, we teach young people ways to relax and manage their stress. They learn breathing exercises and other calming techniques.

Motor Skills Development:

  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills: Virtual Reality activities help improve hand-eye coordination and overall movement. These activities help students become more coordinated and controlled in their movements.

Creativity:

  • Imaginative Play: VR lets young people explore and play creatively in a structured environment. They can engage in role-playing and use their imaginations.

Academic and Vocational Training:

  • Vocational Areas: VR supports learning and explore the environments of our different vocational areas. For example:
    • Food Tech and Bakery: Young people can learn and practice tasks in a bakery.
    • Customer service: VR can show young people how to handle customer service situations.
    • Horticulture and Animal Care: Young people learn about taking care of plants and animals
    • Housekeeping: VR helps students practice housekeeping tasks.

Read more about our approach to learning