Free Google Software Helps Treat Autism

Google software helps autistic kids learn and create (Photo by Flickr/whiteafrican)

The University of Utah’s department of Family and Consumer Studies is utilizing a complex architecture computer program to help treat children with autism.

The program, originally constructed by two Colorado software designers in 2000, is called SketchUp and features cutting-edge 3D modeling that is found to stimulate autistic children’s creativity and enhance their learning abilities. The program was improved and implemented as the result of a partnership between Google and Universal Creative Studios.

With SketchUp, the children push a cursor around downloadable objects. The designers created these objects into two-dimensional scenes. As the creative process flows, these scenes have the option of becoming three-dimensional, complete with editing tools.

With the high cost, but more importantly, the scarcity of autism treatment centers, this program offers an alternative outlet.

University of Utah’s Department chair Cheryl Wright agrees, “there are a lot of people trying to sell things to parents of autistic children, usually at a very high cost.” She continued to say; “parents really like the fact that this is a free service from Google.”

Know as “Project Spectrum” to Chris Cronin, original Google SketchUp designer, and Steve Michael Gross, Universal Creative designer; the university has already held a workshop on February 6. As a result they have received tons of positive feedback from parents and from the children themselves.

For more information on this story, please check back. The International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4Autism) will continue to post on this topic, as new details are received.

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