Hacking Autism Hackathon

Last weekend CARD sent a team to San Francisco to be Senseis for a Hackathon put on by AT&T and Autism Speaks. You might be asking yourself ‘What’s a hackathon?’A hackathon is an innovation marathon where developers and non-developers alike come together for 24 to 36 hours to build a prototype of an app.

This year, in appreciation of Autism Awareness Month (April), Autism Speaks and AT&T have partnered to develop an app for autism! A team from CARD was invited to the hackathon to act as teachers or Senseis  (as they call them), giving the developers guidance for what children and parents are looking for in an app for autism.

At CARD we use tablets all the time for our in-home therapy sessions. Therapists use the apps mostly for administrative functions (scheduling, etc,…), but in the future we hope to implement data entry for clients; so the therapist spends less time filling out paperwork and more time with a child.

Beyond administrative tablet use, CARD came out with it’s own, in-house app for autism called Camp Discovery. According to CARD BCBA Peter Farag (pictured above), Camp Discovery gives kids a fun way to learn. The app itself is less structured an intrusive then a therapist, and typically more fun for a child. As well, the costs of having a therapist come out to a child’s house is very expensive. In the future CARD hopes to develop an app that automates what a therapist does in the form of an app. While this is far off in the future, and nothing can replace a therapist, it will be a step in the direction of lowering the costs for families.

Camp Discovery is going to be the first of many apps that CARD produces”, says Alva Powell, CARD CTO (pictured above) who will be attending the SF Hackathon as a Sensei. CARD understands the awesome tool that a tablet can be for kids on the spectrum, especially those that are non-verbal and CARD wants to capitalize on its uses.

Want to check Camp Discovery out yourself? Download it on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camp-discovery-objects/id585678823?mt=8