Carly McCullar graduated from UT Dallas with a degree in interdisciplinary studies and the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) several years ago, she knew she needed to enhance her communication skills before heading into the next stage of her adult life. "I used the virtual reality training to experience various social situations such as job interviews, handling a problem with a neighbor and even dating," Carly said. "It feels real. I knew it was an alternate reality, but I felt the same emotions I would feel in the actual situation I was practicing. Because of that, you are able to train responses and handle certain scenarios."
A little more than a month of training at the Center for BrainHealth enabled her to make new friends and prepare for professional situations.
"I have now made real friends, long-lasting friends whom I know I will maintain relationships with. When you don't know what freindship is or what it means, it is hard to understand its importance. Because I participated in the Center for BrainHealth's research project, now I do."