Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Larson, Susan


This literature review examines research studies that evaluated the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) simulated interventions in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) including their enjoyment of the process and their ability to transfer VR learning to real-life situations. VR provides a safe and controllable environment that implements realistic computer-based simulated interactions that allow for repeated skill practice and gives participants the ability to progress at their own pace. Most of the research reviewed focused on improving specific deficit areas for those with ASD. Virtual reality interventions were used to increase social and emotional skills involving areas such as: social understanding, positive social competence, social functioning, verbal and nonverbal communication skills, increased social interaction, self-regulation, self-advocacy, and reducing anxiety. Using VR in motor vehicle driving instruction can help assess the abilities of potential drivers and provide an arena for safe driving practice that can be adapted to meet individual needs. Job interviewing and personal interaction skills can be learned and practiced by using simulated VR job interview scenarios. The research findings revealed that VR interventions show positive results for persons with ASD and that further study is necessary.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis