Utah’s Autistic Students Thrive at Google Software Camp

When 11-year-old Christopher Charles designed his super zoo last week, the dinosaurs, dragons and gigantic bugs came to life with computer software that may one day help him find a job.

Thanks to free Google software called SketchUp, Christopher, who is autistic, created a three-dimensional zoo with the same tools used by architects, video game and theme park designers. He put himself in a cage, but reassured his parents the dinosaurs were herbivores.

Now in its second year, iStar, a University of Utah program for high-functioning autistic kids, is unique in the nation. The software provides an outlet for their creativity and builds confidence, family members say. With sessions throughout the year, the camp creates a community of kid designers and new friends.

Its Google, advisers hope to see it duplicated across the country to help the growing number of autistic children learn key skills, both technical and social. Employment can be challenge for autistic adults, who in some cases shine with technology but stumble in social… (read more).

Source :: Utah News | The Salt Lake Tribune

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