VR Group for Teens


The Little Black Duck Autism consultation, education, support, and individual skill development

VR Group for Teens

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About our VR Group

A new type of social group that reduces the exhaustion of typical social skill programs and focuses on the authenticity behind autistic friendship, relationships, and communication

About the program

Current social programs for autistic individuals are generally deficit-focused and based on non-autistic social skills, the autistic person is the follower and not the leader. They are not designed to celebrate the autistic neurotype and the inherent strengths of the autistic profile. Current evidence-based social skill programs begin with the assumption that neurotypical social development is the goal. They use the reduction of autistic traits as a measure of program success rather than social wellbeing or friendship quality.

If your instinctive way of communicating is always dismissed for a model that you have to do consciously, then it can lead to negative associations with socialising, it can also lead to suppressing the autistic identity, leading to poorer mental health and wellbeing. It can also increase the cognitive load due to the autistic trying to “get it right” all the time so they fit in. This can impact on self-acceptance, poor acceptance of their autistic identity and it reduces their instinct about their own social skills.

Autistic teens express a desire to find people they identify with, just like non-autistic teens, but they find it harder to make and maintain face to face connections. They also express an increased sense of loneliness compared to their non-autistic peers, but because of the difficulties they experience in socialising, they become more reclusive as they mature and find it harder to “get out and socialise”. Neurological research shows that autistic teens turn away from visual social information, have a much harder time understanding and analysing it and it adds to their allostatic load.

Autistic teens find that many of their online relationships have a much higher value than their face to face relationships, this is where a VR social group comes in.

Program Structure

Our program focuses on cooperative play style games that require the participants to work together to complete their objectives. Cooperative style games help participants:

  • Learn about their’s and other people’s strengths
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Improved awareness of how to communicate to get their needs met
  • Comraderie
  • Setting and meeting goals

The benefits of using VR

  • It reduces additional social input such as gesture, eye contact and facial expression, reducing the cognitive load on the autistic individual. This allows them to focus more on the authenticity of the interaction, rather than trying to interpret too many social cues.
  • It allows for movement/stimming so the individual has more capacity to stay engaged in the conversation
  • Participants can connect from anywhere in the world
  • One research paper on autistic teens found that relationships formed online have a higher friendship value compared to face to face relationships
  • Creates a predictable environment
  • It is activity focused and can be attended from multiple environments. This allows for consistency in intervention
  • Allows for co-operative play environments that are motivating without being childish
  • It has a high novelty value
  • The environment is immersive and allows the individual to be less self-conscious and aware of their physical environment
  • Develops relationship through shared experience
  • Develops a shared language that allows for authentic autistic communication

Further information

For more information on this program please get in contact with us

Type of Program

Group


Group size

4 Participants
1 Facilitator


Ages

13-18yrs


Dates

To be announced


Time

To be announced


Commitment

Group: 10×1 hour sessions


Cost

Group: 10 sessions – $890 including an intake session and exit report.


Location

In-person: at 418 Wilson St, Albury
Online: Via Zoom


Brochure Download

DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAM FLYERDOWNLOAD THE GROUP DETAILS


Registration forms

  • General registration information
  • Sensory information
  • Group Registration

Visual Supports and Communication Tools

The Little Black Duck offers a range of customised and pre-designed visual supports to help develop communication, connection and relationships.

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Our location

Address
418 Wilson St, Albury 2640

Opening Hours
By Appointment Only
Monday & Tuesday: 9.30am – 9.30pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday & Friday: 9.30am – 3.30pm
Saturday: 10am-2pm

Discover more…

Discover more about the little black duck and what we have to offer

Contact Us

Address: 418 Wilson St, Albury
2640

By Appointment Only
Monday & Tuesday: 9.30am – 9.30pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday & Friday: 9.30am – 3.30pm
Saturday: 10am-2pm

Click here to make a referral

Click here to book an appointment online

Autism consultation, education, support and individual skill development
© The Little Black Duck 2021 – not to be copied, edited or reproduced with out permission. All rights reserved.  ABN: 24 070 499 125