A final year student at the Edinburgh College of Art, Yuan Kai, has been
working on the Click-East app for some time. Her designs feature in the free version, which is currently available on iTunes, and also on the more extensive verison that we’re trialling at the moment.
In addition to providing graphics for the game, Yuan has also created a promo video, which you can see on YouTube here. The video shows me talking about the game and the associated research project in general. However Yuan has created a series of distractions and sensory features designed to get in the way of what I am saying. So as a viewer you have a hint as to what it might be like to have autism. There is a social message coming through (me talking) but all these other things can prevent you from attending to it properly.
This is exactly the kind of problem that children with autism face, and which our app aims to address. Prioritising social information above anything else comes naturally to most of us – we have no trouble listening to voices over the background hum of birdsong, traffic, or strip lighting. We can pay attention even when we have an itchy jumper or we can see something we like in the background. But children with autism can find these sensory distractions overwhelming which prevents them from accessing the important information we get from other people – things like learning new words and following instructions.
I really hope you like the film – it think it is wonderful. Thanks Yuan!