Can Augmented Reality Help Children With ASD? What to Know

by Oye Akintan on April 22, 2021

Is Augmented Reality (AR) helpful for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)? AR is a technology where digital information is superimposed in the real world. There is high interest in this topic, and in this post, we’re going to talk about how it can impact children with ASD. 

Treatment or therapy is important, but children won’t realize its importance. Instead, what they will care about is feeling safe and having fun. On the other hand, for children susceptible to sensory overload, AR can let them engage as they’re able and step back when they feel uncomfortable. 

The Effectiveness of AR for Kids With ASD

AR is effective in allowing interaction with the real world. It is immersive in nature, and it capitalizes on a strength mainly held by people with ASD. What it does is boost the curiosity and engagement of children with ASD, highly motivating them. Moreover, AR creates a more in-depth learning experience. 

AR can also be adapted to support evidence-based practices. Although AR is new technology, its simple addition to existing therapies can do wonders for children with ASD.

So, how can AR impact kids with ASD? 

  • Increase Attention and Positive Emotions

  • AR-based apps can enhance motivation, engagement, and learning for children with ASD. Any AR overlays, like information and 3D videos, can be added to anything. Due to these, the AR experience even becomes better; it results in an increase in engagement and attention. 

  • Help Improve Social Interaction

  • AR apps can help kids practice their social skills. Some important social skills that kids with ASD fall a little behind in are eye contact, asking questions, and sharing their interests. These can be improved through AR apps! 

  • Teach Facial Expressions

  • Another thing AR apps can do is that they can help children with ASD recognize emotional expressions. There are 3D facial models that are used as AR overlay marks that were digitally altered to showcase common facial expressions. This is relayed through storytelling with illustrations that highlight specific emotions. 

  • Teach Nonverbal Social Cues

  • A storybook via an AR app can highlight social cues, which can engage children and help them differentiate between facial expressions. 

  • Improve Fine Motor Skills

  • Kids under an AR program showed an increase in sensory relationships with their environment as they were able to have more control over the movements and select specific muscle groups. The experience is also enjoyable for these kids, and parents are happy with the results. With that, many believe that AR may be an effective tool to hone fine motor skills. 


    New technologies have paved the way for various breakthroughs. Augmented Reality continues to be one of the most talked-about topics, especially when it comes to children with ASD. In this post, we have talked about its effectiveness and its benefits. Although there are still more studies to be done about AR in kids with ASD, it is showing promising results. With that, it seems like it’s going to be integrated into learning methods and various therapies.

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