Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tools for Autism - Project Spectrum and Google SketchUp

Google SketchUp has come to be recognised as a powerful tool in the autism and Aspergers communities, enabling individuals to design, communicate, and collaborate in fun and interesting ways.

Designing with SketchUp can help increase success in school and even improve social skills. SketchUp can also help foster productivity and independence, paving the way for careers in architecture, interior design, game design, film and stage design, urban planning, education - a world of possibilities!

Google established Project Spectrum as a result of working with the Autism Society of Boulder. They observed that children who had limited verbal communication skills were using SketchUp to design intricate and interesting models, essentially projecting the ideas from their brains onto the computer screen.

Bonnie Roskes has teamed up with Project Spectrum to create the following projects, which can be downloaded and used by anyone in the autism / Aspergers community.

More projects are planned, and your feedback, suggestions, and comments are very valuable!


Toy Shop

Collaboration and Communication

In this fun project, a group of students work together to fill an empty toy shop. The students decide among themselves who will be responsible for each toy category.

Each student finds his or her models in the 3D Warehouse, then the group comes back together to place their models into the shop. Comments and feedback from each student help foster a collaborative experience.

Download the Toy Shop project (PDF)


Dentist Office

Relieving Anxiety

Who doesn't get nervous about a trip to the dentist? But "rehearsing" your appointment ahead of time can help make the actual experience easier. It's easy to model the physical spaces using basic rooms, then find the necessary models in the 3D Warehouse.

This project shows two ways to "walk through" the model, gives suggestions for conversations about what will happen at the dentist's office, and also shows how to make the experience funny (imagine walking into the examination room and seeing Homer Simpson instead of your dentist).

Download the Dentist Office project (PDF)

More Free stuff for Kids Activities - click here!

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