New company Brain Power, started by Cognitive neuroscientist Ned Sahin, developed applications for Google Glass, a wearable technology device. These apps aim to help kids with autism improve socially. Autism is diagnosed in 1 in 68 children, touching many people’s lives on a personal level. Potential progress is frequently met with enthusiasm.
Glass Applications Encourage Eye Contact
While kids have benefited from applications built for iPad and Android tablets, they don’t address the lack of ability to make and sustain eye contact, which is one of the most fundamental challenges kids with autism face. This is where Google Glass differs, and it is the thing that makes Sahin very hopeful about the potential of Google Glass to make real headway in treating autism.
As kids wearing the device look straight ahead toward a person, they first see a cartoon. The application also incorporates a game element that will grant points to children when they achieve the goal of eye contact. Another Brain Power application enhances a person’s eyes digitally for the person wearing the device. This enhancement is meant to encourage children to look at the eyes. Typically, children with autism are more prone to look at a person’s mouth. By encouraging eye contact, Sahin hopes his technology will be able to help the brains of autistic children to work at their full potential.
Making Eye Contact the Right Way
Eye contact is a key tool in conversation, and it is something that many people struggle with even when they do not have autism. Being able to effectively make eye contact is an important social skill. By not making eye contact with a person who is speaking, the person appears to be distracted, bored, or weak. On the other hand too much eye contact can be construed as staring, and can make people uncomfortable for a completely different set of reasons. Children with autism who struggle with eye contact need to learn to find a happy medium.
Technology is a great tool for helping autistic children, and almost anyone, become a better version of themselves, but it needs to be used with guidance and in a responsible manner. Too much generalizing can wind up being counterproductive. It is important to get a good sense of the specific challenges of a child with autism before pursuing a course of action that will reduce the impact of their symptoms and help them achieve healthier interactions with those around them.
At Reaching Milestones, we evaluate each child to determine their most predominate symptoms and address each one specifically. This method is endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General, and is the only method that is. Even if the Brain Power applications for Google Glass wind up helping many kids with autism, it is important for parents not to buy too heavily into gadgets, no matter how sophisticated they may be. An educational treatment plan that is geared specifically to their child is a better way to achieve lasting results.