Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI) have been evaluated as the most promising interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder. In recent years, a growing body of literature suggests that technological advancements such as Virtual Reality (VR) are promising intervention tools. However, to the best of our knowledge no studies have combined evidence-based practice with such tools.
This article aims to review the current literature combining NDBI and VR, and provide suggestions on merging NDBI-approaches with VR.
This article is divided into two parts, where we first conduct a review mapping the research applying NDBI-approaches in VR. In the second part we argue how to apply the common features of NDBI into VR-technology.
Our findings show that no VR-studies explicitly rely on NDBI-approaches, but some utilize elements in their interventions that are considered to be common features to NDBI.
As the results show, to date, no VR-based studies have utilized NDBI in their intervention. We therefore, in the second part of this article, suggests ways to merge VR and NDBI and introduce the term Virtual Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (VNDBI). VNDBI is an innovative way of implementing NDBI which will contribute in making interventions more accessible in central as well as remote locations, while reducing unwanted variation between service sites. VNDBI will advance the possibilities of individually tailoring and widen the area of interventions. In addition, VNDBI can provide the field with new knowledge on effective components enhancing the accuracy in the intervention packages and thus move forward the research field and clinical practice.