Your Child Deserves Better

Invirtua’s instruction programs offer a unique approach to autism –
Telehealth sessions with live, interactive avatars

The Challenges of Autism

  • Each individual experiences his or her challenges differently
  • No one type of treatment is effective for every boy and girl
  • Finding the “just-right” combination is what makes the difference
  • Who can be more effective – a certified therapist, a tutor, a TA?
  • It may not be a person, after all!

Your children who receive autism therapy and assistance in a home-school environment can now get special instruction via telehealth sessions with our interactive 3D virtual characters and the professional “avatar pilots” who control them.

We invite you to schedule a free consultation to see how our program works and if it is a good fit for your child and budget. You may choose an introductory rate of $35 for each 25-30 minute long session, if booked separately, or $120 for four weekly sessions.

If you are interested in signing up for one of our long-term programs (12 weeks or more), let me know and I will make the first session no-charge. If you and your child try it and decide it’s not for you, you will receive a full refund.

Mother and son

Why I Believe in Interactive Avatars for Autism

MIT Media Lab Library

INSPIRED BY SCIENCE

Articles by Dr. Rosalind Picard, a respected researcher at MIT’s Media Lab in 1997, about helping children with autism and other learning challenges, inspired me. I was already using live animation technology that enabled me to appear as an interactive avatar on a screen for trade shows and special events.

MOTIVATED BY FAMILY

You see, I had grown up with Michael, a cousin my age who was on the autism spectrum (although we didn’t call it that then), and I knew his life was going to be very different from mine. His was much harder, for him and his parents. There had to be a way I could change that for other kids.

ENCOURAGED BY RESULTS

In 2015, I opened the doors to Invirtua and began working with kids in private therapy, in classrooms at schools, at clinics and in small research projects. At each step, we saw the benefits to our children that Dr. Picard predicted – less anxiety, better learning, and faster generalization.

BYU RESEARCH PROVIDES EVIDENCE

This year, a professor at Brigham Young University published a study in the Elsevier Journal called “Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” It details how they used our 3D Digital Puppeteer software to examine avatar-based social skills intervention in a clinical setting. This small study revealed a similar conclusion made by many other researchers in Europe and the US – participants make consistent gains when assisted by computer-generated interactive avatars.

An Actual Avatar Adventure!

Our thanks to Braeden’s mother, who allowed us to show clips from recordings of the 45-minute-long sessions from Summer 2019, involving her son and Invirtua avatars with Gary Jesch as “avatar pilot.” One of Braeden’s speech challenges was speaking with complete sentences, and he showed clear improvement over approximately 15 weeks with the avatars and his therapists.

According to Jesch, a parent can also help with the sessions, instead of a therapist. “Moms know their children and how to help them learn. The avatar takes the emphasis off interacting with Mom, which makes it easier to have productive sessions, because anxiety is reduced. And many of these kids can tackle fairly complex material if they aren’t anxious or doubtful about succeeding.”

Mom with baby

Simple Practice
All our services are provided through a Client Portal called “Simple Practice,” using telehealth video call sessions. Telehealth is proven to be effective and fun when it comes to learning and communicating via home-based education, the safest option for children and their families.

SimplePractice gives you the same privacy, security and advantages that certified therapists are required by law to maintain. You can join your video calls with our app, and check your appointment schedule, pay with a credit card and view session records from any device via your favorite browser.

Selecting the telehealth track for your child starts with an interview which includes any assessments you might want to share with us.

You, as the parent of a child with autism from 5 to 16 years old, have a choice of lesson plans targeting conversational, social or motivational skills. We offer speech and language training, storytelling training, social interaction and natural learning, animation and technology and learning with video modeling. Similar to therapists, we can focus on a specific condition or combine exercises for a more comprehensive approach.

We welcome any professionals who are currently part of your therapy program to share information and to work with your child during an Avatar Adventure, so they can see just how beneficial the avatar experience can be. Because the avatar pilot wants to make sure the session is most effective, changes can be made immediately, after listening to your feedback or consulting with your professional advisor.

Invirtua Instruction Chart

What Are Avatar Adventures?

Avatar Adventures are a series of 25-30-minute-long video call sessions with your child, accompanied by you, a therapist or other family member, using our  teaching methods and presenting as an interactive avatar, to help make learning fun and easy.

I‘m Invirtua’s founder and current “avatar pilot.” At the moment, I am selecting, hiring and training college students who are studying to be tomorrow’s ABA and SLP therapists. They will be our “avatar pilots” this coming year, once they earn their wings.

By bringing the Avatar Adventure into your home, you get to spend a different form of quality time with your kids. The interactive avatar can see and hear you and your child and can speak with you in real time, just like a real person. In fact, there is a real person – an avatar pilot – on the other end of the call, and it is likely to be me. But you and your child won’t see me. You will see my avatar and hear my voice as I create a wonderful, memorable experience where anxiety is reduced and learning increases.

You will get our professional help with home-based education, plus regular reports and even video recordings that capture every word of a session, privately, so you can go back and spot all the special moments on demand. Your child gets a buddy, a sidekick they can relate to and share their favorite activities with, in the safety of your home.

We also offer our “Family Circle” where selected (and approved) members of your family, such as a grandparent or spouse, can participate in the Avatar Adventures, live in real time with you and your child.

Kikof and Gran

Your child with autism can improve on:

  • Social skills like greeting and interacting with others
  • Overcoming speech and language challenges
  • Letting go of fears and being around other people
  • Learning a 3D graphics drawing program called Blender (free)
  • Using your phone to shoot videos for use in sessions
  • Interacting in simulated situations with coaching

Invirtua characters

How do you sign up?

Let’s arrange a free consultation to discuss your child’s strengths, affinities, challenges and learning difficulties.
There are several ways you can reach me to make an appointment, starting with using the form below.

Once we get started, you’ll be asked to sign some documents as part of our security and disclosure requirements.
They’ll show up in your Client Portal.

You and your child can do this on your own terms, at your own pace.

Let’s get started and bring on the Avatar Adventures!

Contact Me

Ask a question or book an appointment below. 

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