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Digital Seminar

Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, and Clinical Virtual Reality (VR): New Technologies for Treating Sensorimotor Impairments

Albert "Skip" Rizzo, PhD
1 Hour 22 Minutes
Mar 08, 2021
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Digital Seminar
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Virtual Reality (VR) has now emerged as an efficacious tool in many areas of assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation in children and adults!

Join Albert “Skip” Rizzo as he walks you through how VR technology creates controllable, multisensory, interactive 3D stimulus environments while offering clinical assessment and intervention options that are not possible using traditional methods. This session provides exemplars of how VR can be used across a range of childhood health conditions including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, sensorimotor impairments, and more! The capacity of VR to create emotionally evocative and cognitively engaging embodied experiences makes knowledge of its use in clinical care essential for 21st Century clinicians!


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Albert "Skip" Rizzo, PhD's Profile

Albert "Skip" Rizzo, PhD Related seminars and products

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a Research Professor with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Over the last 25 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. Some of his recent work has involved the creation of artificially intelligent virtual human (VH) patients that novice clinicians can use to practice skills required for challenging diagnostic interviews and for creating online virtual human healthcare guides, and clinical interviewers with automated sensing of facial, gestural, and vocal behaviors useful for inferring the state of the user interacting with these virtual human entities. In spite of the diversity of these clinical R&D areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how interactive and immersive Virtual Reality simulations can be usefully applied to address human healthcare needs beyond what is possible with traditional 20th Century tools and methods. To view some videos of this work, please visit this YouTube channel:

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Albert "Skip" Rizzo has an employment relationship with the University of Southern California. He receives funding from VHA, National Institutes for Health, and CDMRP. Albert "Skip" Rizzo is the Chief Editor for Frontiers in Virtual Reality. He is a consultant for Penumbra and Cognitive Leap. serves as a scientific advisor for Attune Media, Pear Therapeutics, MyndVR, TrippVR, Luminopia, and Magic Horizons.Albert "Skip" Rizzo receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. All relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.
Non-financial: Albert "Skip" Rizzo serves as the editorial board member of Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, Alzheimer’s & Dementia: the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, The Computer Games Journal, Journal of Communication in Healthcare , and Future Internet Journal.


  1. Defend the rationale for the use of VR in the assessment and training of cognitive, motor and psychological health conditions in children including those with autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, and sensorimotor impairments. 
  2. Argue how recent advances in the creation of virtual humans can be used in clinical applications for training healthcare providers and for various patient-facing applications like social skill training. 
  3. Support the rationale for the use of VR in the assessment and rehabilitation of a wide range of clinical disorders including, Phobias, PTSD, Alzheimer's, Stroke, and addictions. 
  4. Choose technology applications for clinical use with children, not simply by knowing of specific applications, but by understanding what features and potential added value they may provide.


Introduction to Virtual Reality (VR) 
  • Definitions and Rationales 
  • Immersion and Interactivity 
  • Theoretical/practical rationale for clinical VR 
New Tools for Clinical Treatment, Training, and Research – Cases Examples 
  • VR in the assessment and treatment of cognitive, motor and psychological function  
    • Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, and sensorimotor impairments
  • VR Exposure Therapy for Anxiety Disorders, PTSD  
  • VR distraction approaches for pain management and discomfort reduction 
  • VR motor and cognitive function assessment and rehabilitation 
  • Intelligent virtual humans for role-play training for social skills and building relationships 
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks 
The Future of Clinical Virtual Reality Across the Lifespan! 
  • Technology 
  • Costs 
  • Marketplace 
  • Growing Clinical and Scientific Community 

Target Audience

  • Licensed Clinical/Mental Health Counsellors 
  • Social Workers 
  • Psychologists 
  • Speech-Language Pathologists 
  • Occupational Therapists 
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants 
  • Physical Therapists 
  • Physical Therapists Assistants 
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel 
  • School Administrators 

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