Auti-Sim: Providing Insight to Autism World

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Article first published as Auti-Sim: Providing Insight to Autism World on Technorati.

Auti-Sim showing a child with autism in full meltdown.  The screams you don't hear, are deafening.

As a parent, you want to understand your children. You want to comprehend what is going through their minds, and how to reach them. As a parent of a child with autism you have to try that much more to understand why going into a supermarket means dealing with meltdowns, and walking in crowded parks means lots of pressure. At times, you are so bewildered that you just throw up your hands and sigh.

In order to help alleviate that frustration, A new "game" has been developed to help people see the world from the eyes of a child with autism. Called Auti-Sim, it features you, a child with autism, in a playground full of children.

The premise is simple, try to engage with the kids (walk up to them) while they are playing. The reality is somewhat complicated: the noise is too much to bear and your vision becomes blurred and pixelated. Now, I don't honestly believe that children with autism have blurry vision in social situations, but it's a visual illustration of how the world around them changes when not in a comfortable situation.

It quickly becomes clear that staying on the outside of the action, along the edges of the playground, is the "safest" place to be. Things are clearer there, less unbearable in noise and vision. In a word, being antisocial makes you feel more comfortable.

After playing with the controls, hearing the screams, and realizing that the more time I spend trying to tough it out the longer it takes to calm down, I think I gained a little insight into the world that my boys currently live. For those looking to gain such an insight, I would definitely recommend this game.