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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MechaCrashGee, how did people ever get the idea Gaters are morons who argue in bad faith? It's such a mystery.07/02/2015 - 7:03am
E. Zachary KnightGoth, again, no one is saying that we shouldn't be writig uncomfortable subject matter. What people are saying is that chances are you are going to write it poorly so it would be better to not have done it at all.07/02/2015 - 7:00am
Goth_Skunkdiscussed or portrayed in an expressive medium. Such an opinion only serves to stifle discussion. And as I said before, the only thing not worth talking about is what shouldn't be talked about.07/02/2015 - 6:50am
Goth_Skunk@Info: The same reason why I would entertain the notion that the Wired article writer could be right: Curiosity. Except in this case, I'm not curious at all. I'm not interested in hearing anyone's opinion on why uncomfortable subject matter shouldn't be07/02/2015 - 6:49am
IvresseI think the problem with the Batmobile is that they made it a core aspect of the game that you have to do continuously. If it was basically a couple of side games that were needed for secret stuff or a couple of times in the main game, it would be fine.07/02/2015 - 5:38am
Infophile@Goth: If you're not willing to entertain the idea you might be wrong, fine. That's your right. But why should anyone else entertain the idea that you might be right? If they go by the same logic, they already know you're wrong, so why listen to you?07/02/2015 - 3:53am
MattsworknameEh, I love the new batmobile personally, it's a blast to mess aroudn with. Plus, the game is set in a situation that mroe or less leaves batman with no choice but to go full force. And even then, it still shows him doing all he can to limit casualties.07/01/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenAgreed. Luckily, we don't seem to be in danger of that of late. No one's suggesting, for example, that tanks shouldn't be in video games, only that the tank in Arkham Knight is poorly implemented and out of place from a characterization standpoint.07/01/2015 - 11:27pm
MattsworknameConfederate flag, Relgious organizations, etc etc. Andrew isnt[ wrong, just remember not to let that mentality lead to censorship.07/01/2015 - 11:20pm
Mattsworknamefind offensive or disturbing, and that mindset leads to censorship. It's all well and good to say "This would be better IF", just so long as we remember not to let it slide into "This is offensive, REMOVE IT". IE , the current issues surroundign the07/01/2015 - 11:19pm
MattsworknameAndrew and goth both have points, and to that point, I'll say. Saying somethign is improved by changing something isn't a problem, on that I agree with , but at the same time, on of the issues we have in our society is that we want to simply remove things07/01/2015 - 11:18pm
Andrew EisenSee? Suggestions for improvements that involve taking things away do not mean the work is garbage or performing poorly, critically or commercially.07/01/2015 - 9:29pm
Andrew EisenSkyward Sword is spiff-a-rific but it would be an improved experience if the game didn't explain what each item and rupee was every single time you picked them up!07/01/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenHere's another: De Blob is a ton of fun but it would be improved without motion controls. Incidentally, THQ heard our cries, removed motion controls for the sequel and it was a better game for it!07/01/2015 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenI'll give you an example: Arkham Knight is a ton of fun but the tank sucks and the game would be even better without it.07/01/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWell clearly we're diametrically opposed about that.07/01/2015 - 9:03pm
Andrew EisenNot even remotely true.07/01/2015 - 8:59pm
Goth_SkunkIt is, if the suggestion involves taking something away from a product in order to make it better.07/01/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOffering suggestions for improvement does not mean that the work in question is garbage or not doing fine.07/01/2015 - 8:21pm
Goth_SkunkIf their products were garbage, they wouldn't be as praiseworthy as they are.07/01/2015 - 8:08pm
 

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