iSandBOX Children's Hope in Action
How iSandBOX Helps Treat Children With Autism
Last week, we visited AURA center in Tomsk, Russia where children with Autism Spectrum Disorders receive treatment. Among other equipment, they have recently got an iSandBOX unit, a very special system that unites usual sand with the latest augmented reality technologies. We have spent a whole day with the teacher, kids and their parents, and we had a chance to see how iSandBOX is used for the children’s therapy. Today, we invite you to join us and meet those wonderful children and celebrate their small victories!
Features of iSandBOX Children's Hope
iSandBOX Children’s Hope is a modification of a standard iSandBOX unit, that was made especially for special-needs children and adults who use wheelchairs. The height of the playfield can be adjusted with the help of control buttons placed on the sandbox column.
The sandbox is equipped with a two-level protection system from possible injury while adjusting the height. It also has soft sides for added comfort and protection.
As the teacher mentioned, this feature is very useful when working with autistiс children, because therapy sessions are held for children of various ages. It comes in handy for one-on-one classes, when the teacher can adjust the play area to fit the height of each student.
The therapy program includes 8 individual sessions for each child, two times per week, plus an additional class in small groups so the kids could socialize. With the help of a qualified teacher and psychologist, the children learn to concentrate, develop their fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, communication skills, improve sensory and visual perception and learn to manage their emotions. Depending on a child’s age and condition, an individual program is developed for each student. Classes may be adapted to various ages and conditions thanks to a wide range of learning and playing scenarios of iSandBOX.
What the Teacher Says
Olga Solonytsina, teacher and psychologist:
We work with special children, so when they see the sandbox, they all react differently. It usually takes them quite some time to get used to it. There are some kids that would take some time to approach the sandbox at first, but later you can’t get them out of the class. They would play for a really long time. And some of them are more receptive, so they adapt really quickly and they start making their own stories with the interactive sand. I just direct them a little bit, and let their own fantasy flow. So we make stories together and we build lots of things together.
And now it's time to meet our students...
Yaroslav, 10 years old
The boy’s intellectual functions are not impaired, but he is experiencing behavioral issues, so the major part of his therapy is aimed at improving his behavior, developing concentration and patience.
During the class, the boy does some fine motor activities and learns to remember small rhymes. Together with the teacher, they build various objects, fantasize and play. The teacher makes sure that Yaroslav keeps his attention for the whole duration of one activity and follows her instructions without being distracted.
Yaroslav’s mom couldn’t be happier with these classes. She says that the interactive sandbox positively affects his emotional state. He comes back home really calm.
Dima, 8 years old
In this video, Dima is playing with the Volcano mode. This is a new scenario and a new discovery for him. The boy is actively participating and following the teacher’s instructions. He is happy to learn something new.
Denis, 10 years old
It took Denis a while to get used to the sandbox. At first, he would try to put the sand in his mouth or run away. He did not know what to do. After 4 classes, the sand finally caught his attention, he got interested and tried modeling the sand. He likes to find little treasures hidden in the sandbox and he got excited watching the Seasons and Day and Night modes. Denis loves making hills of sand to build the Sun and the Moon.
In this video, we can see how he repeats after the teacher (makes hills and rivers). Before, he would try to break all the shapes that the teacher or his mom has built during the class. The video shows positive dynamics in the boy’s learning.
In this video, Denis is playing with the Air Balloons mode. He is trying to remember colors (bursts the balloons of the right color, following the instructions). He is also trying to use both hands and is trying hard to coordinate his movements (waits for the balloon of the right color and tries to hit it). This is positive dynamics in Denis’s development, as his mom says.
Katya, 8 years old
Katya was excited to play with the Landscape mode. After 4 classes she got to know it so well that she built a magic city all by herself.
Vasiliy, 8 years old
Vasiliy loved the Landscape mode, where he built magic cities and countries. The boy was so carried away by the process that the time of the class seemed to fly very quickly! This is a positive dynamics in his development because hyperactive kids tend to switch from one activity to another without finishing. But this time, Vasiliy stayed focused during the entire class!
This day was full of emotions and new acquaintances for us. Once again, we saw for ourselves that iSandBOX interactive sandbox can be a valuable tool in the hands of a skilled children’s development professional. We saw how it helps carefully enter the world of a special child and help him or her unlock their potential. We saw how the kids open up when interacting with the magic sand, how eager they are to explore and discover new things, and how great they are in doing it. We watched how happy their parents are when they see their small victories. We hope that you enjoyed our little journey into the world of iSandBOX.