Individuals with autism spectrum disorder often struggle with motor difficulties across the life span, and these motor difficulties may affect independent living skills and quality of life. Yet, we know little about how whole-body movement may distinguish individuals with autism spectrum disorder from individuals with typical development.
The ability to understand emotional experiences of others, empathy, is a valuable skill for effective social interactions. Various types of training increase empathy in adolescents, but their impact on brain circuits underlying empathy has not been examined. Video games provide a unique medium familiar and engaging to adolescents and can be used to deliver training at scale.
“We think this video game-based training could be a unique way to help individuals with ASD who have challenges with their balance address these issues,” says Travers, an investigator at UW–Madison’s Waisman Center and an assistant professor of kinesiology.
Teenagers spurning family time and conversation for Candy Crush during the holiday season is nearly as common a sight these days as turkey and baked ham.