Floreo Blog

Virtual Reality For Autism Hits Its Stride

By Heather | May 30, 2024

"A niche within a niche", that was what a venture capitalist told me in 2018 when I gave the elevator pitch for Floreo in a literal elevator at the very first HLTH health tech conference. I interpreted the off-the-cuff remark as a dismissal that the neurodiverse community was too small to justify real innovative technology solutions, and even if they did, that immersive technologies like virtual reality were unlikely to reach any meaningful scale. Fast forward to 2024 with 32K therapy lessons delivered through Floreo in the past year, and I am happy I was undeterred at that moment. 

Today, we as a society have come so far in understanding the important and urgent need to support and enable the neurodiverse in every way possible. Meanwhile, three of the biggest tech companies –  Meta, Apple, and Bytedance – are ambitiously building products and ecosystems for competing visions of immersive computing. And this is happening in a moment with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), that rivals the beginning of the Internet and mobile computing. So, far from being a “niche” play in a tiny market, Floreo has grown into a robust technology solution that services a large and growing market.

Floreo is now available on Meta Quest


We are thrilled to announce that Floreo is now available on Meta Quest! We are delighted to expand our offering to make your Learner's Floreo experience even better!

And don't forget that Floreo is also available in the PICO Business Store. We support PICO Neo3, Neo3 Pro/Pro Eye & PICO 4 Enterprise. 

We are working diligently to make Floreo available on more platforms to be more accessible for all Coaches and Learners.

Our team would love to chat with you about implementing Floreo in your school or clinic using Quest or PICO! If you have questions about whether your device is compatible with Floreo, please let us know.


In case you missed it...


New Lesson: Chit-Chat with Ayanna

Who it is for: Learners aged 5+

What's new: Learners join Ayanna to practicing social chit-chat to improve their skills in listening and responding to common small talk comments and questions. Coaches have the flexibility to choose from a selection of everyday topics, including: Animals, Baking, Computers, Feeling Sad, Last Night, Wheelchair Makeover, and Travel Dreams. The skills addressed in this lesson include: approaching a peer, initiating a greeting, holding a more in-depth conversation, and saying goodbye when the interaction ends.

New Lesson: Peaceful Painting

Who it is for: Learners of all ages

What's new: Enhance emotional regulation through this interactive painting experience in serene Harmony Forest. Using artistic expression, this lesson can help promote concentration and relaxation, along with self-awareness and self-regulation skills. Relax and enjoy!

In the "Peaceful Painting" lesson, we've incorporated a special touch with music created and performed by members of our Floreo family. The "Soothing Piano" track features a beautiful performance by Samara, the talented daughter of our VP of Operations, Crystal Levy. The lovely "Calming Harp" track was played by our multi-talented Floreo art consultant, Erica Holcomb. The tracks "Mellow Guitar" and "Relaxing Rhythm" were both written and performed by Calista Garcia, the creative daughter of our VP & General Counsel, Denise Garcia. To hear more of Calista's music and explore her other works, please visit her website: https://calistagarcia.com/

Find Chit-Chat with Ayanna in the Social Interactions skill category and Peaceful Painting in the Emotional Regulation skill category once you have the latest version of Floreo! If you haven't yet had a chance to download the latest version of Floreo, it's a good time to do it! You can find it in the iOS app store by clicking this link. If you have equipment that you got from Floreo, make sure to turn it on, connect it to WiFi and let the update download before opening the app. 

If you or your staff would like to talk through the new content or any of the changes we've recently made, please reply to this email to set up time to speak to a member of our team!


Research opportunity


Attention DC-area families! Does your child have ADHD? Researchers at NIH NHGRI are seeking children age 10-16 to enroll in a research study on the effect of virtual reality cognitive training on ADHD symptoms. Call 800-411-1222 or email PRPL@cc.nih.gov and reference Study 000744 if you are interested!



Upcoming Events


Let us know if you are attending an upcoming event. We would love to connect with you!

Attention Medicaid Families


Did you know that in Wisconsin and New York families on Medicaid waivers initiated full reimbursed coverage of Floreo in the home?

If your family receives services in your state using a Medicaid waiver, you might be able to get a Floreo subscription (including equipment rental) fully covered by your state program. Reach out to us, and let’s work together to see how we can get Floreo into your home and start making a difference for your Learner.

New Partnerships


A warm welcome to the newest Floreo partners at Catch A Balloon (Canada). We are looking forward to bringing Floreo to your Learners!

Are you ready to join the Floreo family? We would love to discuss implementation in your school, district, or practice! Reply to this email to set up time to speak with a member of our team.

Using Floreo in your clinic, school, or home


Teaching situational awareness with Floreo: Floreo is a powerful tool for working on situational awareness with Learners. Situational awareness starts with the ability to observe the environment and the elements in the environment as well as understand the context of that environment. Our ability to be situationally aware allows us to predict what might happen in that place and eventually, how we can have agency over what happens there. When people can't predict what is likely to happen in an environment, the tendency toward anxiousness and anxiety can heighten. In contrast, when someone is able to predict their environment, those anxious feelings can diminish.

Funding ideas


We know that budgets can be tight, and we want to help get Floreo into the hands of anyone who needs it! Please let us know if you need help writing up your DonorsChoose application or with information for a grant you have identified. This is a great resource to find available grants.

IDEA and Title I funds are also great sources to help you access a Floreo subscription.

What have we been reading this week?


About the Author


Heather is Floreo's Director of Customer Success. She makes sure that all of Floreo's customers are comfortable and confident using Floreo. Prior to working at Floreo, Heather worked at Trove (a news start-up) and eBay for Charity. Heather holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College, where she also played varsity basketball (and won an Ivy League Championship) and a M.Ed. from the University of Mary Washington. In her free time she enjoys reading, tennis, skiing, and hiking around Western North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and adorable lab mix, Pepper.