This week for my critique, I chose to review “Autism Virtual Reality.” As I was looking through the titles of possible cases to review, I chose this one because next school year is quickly approaching. Every year, I do have students with Autism, and by gaining a better understanding of how their brain functions, I’m hoping I can help them in the classroom. “Too Much Information” is a campaign that spreads awareness about Autism and how people can support someone with Autism.
Here is the full video with a note from the creators:
Warning: this film contains flashing lights, bright colors and loud, sudden noises. Some people might experience motion sickness in this 360 degree virtual reality film.
As you can see in the video, a child (Alex) with Autism is at a shopping center with his mother. Due to his Autism, Alex cannot process all of the stimuli (flashing lights, loud noises, bright colors, ect.), which causes him to experience sensory overload and meltdown. Even as I watched the video, it made me feel anxious and I found myself turning down the volume.
After watching the video, I spent some time exploring The National Autism Society website. It is an amazing site with a lot of information. The goal is to increase understanding of Autism to all people. Here is another video about a girl on her way to the ice skating rink.
To be honest, you never realize all of the external stimuli there is around you every day that you cannot control. Now when I think about my classroom and the stimuli that is present there (bright lights, bells, other students), I am impressed by how my students have learned to cope and adjust. But I also understand why they have had a melt down or need a place to go process the information. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to not only watch Alex’s and the young girl’s videos, but to gain a deeper understanding of Autism.