Can We Simulate the Autism Experience?

child in multi sensory room


You might have seen a child toe-walking, or covering their ears with their hands. But instead of just observing, have you ever wondered what it might be like to experience the world like a child with autism? Autism, a disorder of neural development, affects the way a child’s brain processes information and can have serious effects on communication, social interaction, and repetitive, stereotypic movements. It is a mysterious disorder in that scientists have yet to identify the cause, but the number of children diagnosed continues to rise. What is perhaps the most enigmatic about autism spectrum disorders, however, is the sensory abnormalities described and observed by some in nearly 90% of the autism population. For the normal brain, this can be difficult to imagine. But now, thanks to developers at the Vancouver Hacking Health hackathon, a simulation of the autism experience might provide typical brains with a taste of the autism experience.

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