The past few months since the last blog post has been an incredible journey. Last semester I met with Beth Rosenberg, founder of the autism organization TKU, and discussed becoming a part of her team to help assist local children living with these disabilities. She stated how by working with these children, I will be able to solidify the problem I am trying to solve in reality, opposed to just making assumptions from other people’s experiences. In the weeks I have spent alongside others living with autism, I have found a place for my application, but have come up with numerous additions and changes that would make my app so much more useful to these children. I was able to figure this all out all while helping out my community, and the people I first set out to help.
The first place I began my journey was with TKU themselves, working at their Sunday workshops. At these workshops, I worked with children from a variety of age groups learn how to use Photoshop, develop AR/VR applications, and develop skills that they will be able to put on their resume, and use to become marketable in the workplace. In this process, I was able to observe the learning styles of these children, and see how the traits that effect their learning ability grow and develop as they age.
Additionally through TKU, I was introduced to someone who wanted to learn more about game/app development, and so I began tutoring him four hours a week, mostly on the Unreal Engine (what I am using for this project). This gave me great experience preparing lesson plans, adapting lessons to the student’s progress, as well as giving me even more insight on how these people learn, in a more one-on-one setting. This project has evolved into something much different than originally intended, but I couldn’t be more proud and grateful for the opportunities it has given me to help the people I had first set out to help in the first place.