iSTAR Program Gives Children with Autism a Leg Up

Jan 3, 2013

The University of Utah iSTAR program is helping give children who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder a better quality life through the use of technology.

The iSTAR program uses a free 3D design application called SketchUp to help kids with a high functioning form of the Autism Spectrum Disorder develop better social and career skills. iSTAR project director Cheryl Wright says the results they’ve seen so far are encouraging.

“Most of these kids really lack in having friendships and so they come to the workshops, they show their designs to each other, they work with each other, do a lot of peer teaching. It’s been really exciting to see that social dimension develop.”

Denise Dimmick’s son is one of the almost 30 children to have participated in the program. She says she’s really noticed a difference in his behavior.

“He’s got kind of a leg up. He’s got a little bit of a head start now going into looking for work and having skills that make him employable.”

iSTAR is using the online crowd funding website Rocket Hub to help raise money to be able to continue to expand the research based program to reach as many children and families as possible.