Avatars May Help Children With Social Anxiety Overcome Fears
[Source: UCF Tdoay, Virtually Better, Inc.]
A principal standing in the hallway says, “You are one of my favorite students!” In class, a smart girl says, “You are the nicest person in our class!”
Many children would smile and eagerly return those compliments, but some with social anxiety may be too terrified to respond.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida’s Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the Atlanta-based company Virtually Better want to give more children with social anxiety the practice they need to become comfortable in social situations. They have developed a new, one-of-a-kind computer simulation program that enables children to interact with avatars playing the roles of classmates, teachers and a principal.
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