Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopment disability which affects the development of the brain and its symptoms usually appear in the first two years of age. No two individuals with ASD are the same as Autism lies on a spectrum with many subtypes and the severity of symptoms will vary from person to person. Therefore, every individual with autism will learn and grow at their own pace, with some requiring more support in their daily lives, while others may live more independently.
An individual with ASD have difficulties in three main areas:
- Difficulties with social communication
- Difficulties with social interaction
- Restricted interests or repetitive behaviours
It is estimated that the worldwide prevalence of ASD is about 1% with 400 new cases diagnosed annually in Singapore. Although ASD is a lifelong developmental disorder, treatments and therapy can improve symptoms and an individual’s ability to carry out day to day activities.
How can the PLAYBALL help ASD patients?
Although impairments in attention are not categorised as a core symptom of ASD, many individuals with ASD find it hard to focus on things that do not interest them. Many children with ASD are often diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 30-80% of ASD children meet the criteria for ADHD as well. Studies have therefore shown that children with ASD performed poorer in tasks that require sustained attention as compared to typically developing children.
Improving sustained attention in children with ASD is particularly crucial in a classroom setting. About 80% of students with special education needs are enrolled in mainstream schools and they may face problems like keeping engaged in class or having difficulties shifting their focus from one topic to another.
Children with ASD can improve their attention skills and play is one of the best ways to do so. PLAYBALL is an interactive therapy ball that engages patients through rehabilitation ball exercises while being able to play fun games and receive real-time visual feedback. With PLAYBALL’s smart integrated sensors and performance tracking abilities, it allows users to better track their recovery process. PLAYBALL is ideal in the rehabilitation of children with ASD, allowing them to practice various skills like coordination (uni & bilateral), visual spatial orientation and perception, visual tracking, increase strength, and improve attention span.