Autism is a lifelong developmental disability. It is a spectrum condition also referred to as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The word ‘spectrum’ is used because while all ASD people share three main areas of difficulty (social communication, social interaction, the flexibility of thought), the condition affects people in very different ways (Bellani et al., 2011). Some are able to live relatively independent lives, while others will require a lifetime of specialist support. Today, between 1 in 100 individuals are diagnosed with autism, amounting to around 3.3 million people with autism in the EU (Autism-Europe, 2009). Obsessions, repetitive behavior and routines can be a source of enjoyment for people with ASD and a way of coping with everyday life. Therefore, even a slight change in those routines could cause distress or anxiety to the ASD individual.
Many intervention strategies have been researched through the years to help individuals with autism in daily life to increase their ability to perform daily-life activities. Among recent interventions is immersive Virtual Reality (VR), a simulation of the real world based on computer graphics, which is considered a promising tool for helping individuals with autism deal with their daily routines and alleviate their fears and phobias by offering them a safe environment for learning (Parsons et al., 2009; Holden, 2005). The Virtual Environments (VEs) created by VR simulate the real world and give experiences to ASD individuals to help them understand concepts as well as learn to perform specific tasks, which can be repeated as often as required (Chittaro & Ranon, 2007).