Video Games as a Tool to Develop Motor-Skills for Kids with FASD

September 15, 2011 -

A new research project from the University of the Fraser Valley (Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada) uses video games to help test the motor skills of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (or FASD). UFV has been running the after-school program, FAST Club, for children with FASD for the past three years. But this year brings a new element to the program - video games. The after-school video game program called BrainGamers Club helps children with FASD work on their motor skills and gaming skills, and measures whether the impact of these activities cross over into other areas.

“A typical approach to treating children with FASD involves focusing on their weaknesses. We do assessments and target their best areas and give them choices about what skills they want to improve upon,” says Dr. Chris Bertram, head of UFV's kinesiology program and one of the project researchers. “We have seen positive changes in other brain functions after participating in our FAST club.”

The BrainGamers project is based at the UFV Abbotsford campus. BrainGamers participants play tailored video games while their brainwaves are measured through a cap they will wear.

“If the brain area we’re focusing on becomes overactive or underactive, the visual appearance of the screen will change," Bertram said. "The only way the child will be able to fix the screen will be by altering the electrical output of the brain. We’re hoping that over time if the brain patterns change, we’ll see some positive behavioural outcomes, as has been the case in studies of children with other developmental disabilities.”

“There are very few programs offered just for kids with an FASD diagnosis,” adds Alison Pritchard-Orr, another member of the UFV research team. “This is a university-run project where the children get to work with enthusiastic university students who also enjoy the program. It’s a definite plus for them to get this kind of attention. And the activities they do are based on their strengths and specifically tailored to them.”

UFV is working closely with two multi-university partners - NeuroDevNet and GRAND, a group whose specialty is graphics animation and new media development to create video games for the diagnosis and treatment of various childhood brain disorders.

More information on the program can be found here.

Source: Chilliwack Times


 
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Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/13-year-old-minecraft-player-confesses-to-swatting-police-say/ not surprised.03/27/2015 - 3:51pm
Matthew WilsonI know most of my friends first saw robotech when it was on Toonami in the mid 90s, but it is possible that a fan who watched it in the 80s are in a position to do it.03/27/2015 - 1:04pm
Andrew EisenRobotech was mid 80s. Fans of the show (who were kids when it aired) are my age and older.03/27/2015 - 1:01pm
Matthew Wilsontiming. anime only really became widely known in the US in the mid 90s. if we assume it was mostly kids watching it, they still wouldnt be high enough in managment to be given full creative control yet. it would still be another 5 to 10 years for that.03/27/2015 - 12:59pm
Andrew EisenI agree. Now what makes you think that there is no one in power who cares about (or has the ability to) make a good adaptation?03/27/2015 - 12:47pm
Matthew Wilsonits not about pratice, it is about people who understand it getting in to positions of power.03/27/2015 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonallot of the comic book characters that have been turned in to good movies started in the 70s or earlier.03/27/2015 - 12:32pm
Andrew EisenWell, if it really does take two generations of practice to get it right, we'll never get good live action adaptations of anime if no one starts making them.03/27/2015 - 12:31pm
Andrew EisenWhat have you seen that would make you say that?03/27/2015 - 12:30pm
Matthew WilsonIt took 2 genarations of comic book reader before we got good comic book movies. I imagine that will be the case for anime as well.03/27/2015 - 12:28pm
Matthew Wilson@AE yes if they have people that understand the content give it a shot, but as far as I can tell that does not look like it is happening in this case.03/27/2015 - 12:26pm
Andrew EisenI understand the skepticism but I don't think "this will never work" and "no one should even bother" are very healthy attitudes.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Andrew EisenWhy would you doubt that? A lot of writers are my age and older, the perfect age to be fans of the content. All I'm saying is it's not impossible to get a good Robotech movie. In fact, it's more likely today than any other time.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Matthew Wilson@AE the difference is in the case of marvel the writers and directors clearly understand the source content. I doubt many of any of them are that way with robotech, or any anime for that matter.03/27/2015 - 11:10am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.playstationtrophies.org/news/news-15838-Sony-Cuts-the-Price-of-PlayStation-TV-Today.html Sony cuts the price of the Vita TV in the UK, still wont force developers to make their stuff compatible with it.03/27/2015 - 10:49am
Andrew EisenMechaCrash - It's true, there are a lot of examples of crap adaptations. But there are increasing numbers of great adaptations such as the Marvel movies. That said, it's certainly going to be an uphill battle at Sony, especially with Tom Rothman around.03/27/2015 - 10:45am
ZippyDSMleeOh live action crap...I dunno with hollywood being stuck in the 90s grimdarkblack mode I can not see how anything would work well other than SNK or Akira.. then again Akira is a bit of head trip...03/27/2015 - 10:11am
MechaCrashI meant Hollywood in general. If they did a Robotech movie, it'd just be a slightly tweaked Macross, because usually when people talk about Robotech, they just mean the first third. Nobody cares about the Masters/Southern Cross or Invid/MOSPAEDA stuff.03/27/2015 - 9:36am
ZippyDSMleeYes Macross is good..... robotech....not so much..... Now Pizza Cats that's the definitive TV dub, if not best dub ever I'd put it up there with COwboy Bebop just becuse the Pizza Cats dub is fun as heck and crazy,Medabots and Fighting Foodons are decent.03/27/2015 - 9:20am
InfophileAged well plot-wise, I mean. The animation is showing its age, but if you don't mind that, the plot holds up quite well03/27/2015 - 6:52am
 

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