Autism, Avatars, and Alleviating Social Skills Disorders
Humans are social beings, having conversations, making friendships and communities. Social interaction is the key to our happiness. By definition, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder struggle to be socially appropriate and connected. If offered the opportunity to socialize through an avatar, we have found that children with ASD are motivated socially. This insight has been the impetus behind the creation of SiLAS (Socially Interactive Learning Avatar Software) for Social Skills. Through our presentation “Autism, Avatars, and Alleviating Social Skills Disorders” we will explore how avatars give special learners the opportunity to step outside themselves to utilize and practice the skills needed to be successful socially.
Christopher Dudick is the founder of Small Factory Productions, a multimedia and technology studio for children. Since its creation in 2007, Small Factory has worked with hundreds of NYC and NJ schools and thousands of students focusing on STEAM based enrichment programs such as Animation, Video Game Design, 3D Printing and Video Production.
In 2012 Chris won an Emmy for producing ‘Socially Conscious Cartoons’ a series of cartoons with socially impactful messages created by kids for kids. Previous to starting Small Factory Chris worked on children’s shows for Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Cartoon Network and AOL.
Chris’ current venture, SiLAS Solutions is an avatar based software program that alleviates social skills disorders for children on the autistic spectrum.