This project's funding goal was not reached on May 14, 2013.
About this project
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We work with individuals who have a hard time fitting in socially for one reason: We believe we all have a need to belong. Whether it be a social group, boyfriend/girlfriend, or even connecting with people at work, we all have a desire to share something special with others.
If you remember being twenty-two, perhaps you were just graduating college, finishing up marriage plans, or even preparing for a big move; any of which had a drastic change on your life that required you to adapt. That's the exact issue many adults diagnosed with Asperger's and high-functioning Autism face when they reach this age. Funding is cut-off for treatment and they have a hard time adapting to these new social situations. They are seen as weird, slow, and even bullied to the point of giving up on trying to connect with others. 80% can't find a job as they are seen as "different" when interviewing even though they show the skills needed to perform the job.
We began working with Asperger's by accident. We originally started a company to deal with people having a hard time dating. The main people we worked with were finishing up a divorce or not knowing where to begin. It turns out people with Asperger's reached out for help through their desire to connect. We found a huge passion in these incredibly intelligent and caring individuals. We worked closely with them to understand their condition and reached out to experts to find out what the key issues are people face with Asperger's. We combined this with our own traditional socializing program and we have been thrilled with the results.
We have a vision that the initial teachings and workshops we've built can be brought to people's homes in a product they can explore at their comfort. So far, we've funded building many of the features needed to make this application work out of our own pocket. We need your help to finish the product.
With your help, our solution will be one of the most advanced interactive programs available for individuals diagnosed with Aspergers. Using video-modeling, a proven method for teaching, we can allow them to utilize the application and repeat exercises until thoroughly understood. It will be the first micro-expression tool in the world to support blends. Many times individuals with Aspergers can be described as lacking of emotion. We want to show them how to express feelings to better connect with their peers via this micro-expression training. Interactive quizzes guarantee progress and a level of understanding that can be reviewed. The learning is context based and helps individuals learn what to look for. With the teacher version, instructors can track progress of their class as well as review progress of individuals over time, as well as their usage. Videos demonstrate scenarios and repeat concepts throughout to help generalize the ideas, which can be hard for individuals with Aspergers. We utilize scientific studies and explain the science behind our interactions so individuals can understand the reasoning behind their actions and how to best leverage them in interactions.
This tool is a mixture between a book and an app. We believe that interactive is the direction education is heading and fully embrace that with this solution. It will work on PC, MAC, iPad, Amazon, and Android Devices and are looking at more depending on funding received to create this product.
The key users of this product would be people on the high-functioning end of Autism, Asperger's, and educators who work with these individuals.
Chapter Outline Below:
Most of the content and tools in the Social Blindness App will make use of videos, photography and interactive elements. As you might guess this will take up most of our time and effort. So please note the release date in November if (when) we get funded.
It is important to note that there are no medications to directly treat Asperger’s Syndrome, but research has indicated that taking medications to treat common coexisting conditions, such as depression and anxiety, can improve the success of a treatment program.
Meet the Team
Josh Mitchell: Through studying gender science and eventually becoming certified in Micro Expressions, Joshua developed a real passion for understanding how people connect. He is quoted in the Wall Street Journal about people forgetting to have face-to-face conversations, "a lot of social skills you used to pick up watching your parents, but now everyone is busy watching stuff online or playing video games." His vision is to create solutions for people to connect better, become more creative, and enjoy life more. He thinks science can explain a lot of what drives humans and wants to present it in a modern way that everyone will be able to understand.
Kevin Emmons: While serving as the head coach and body language specialist for social and dating coaching company, Miss Pivot, Kevin has developed a passion for working with individuals with Aspergers. Working closely with the clients is, "the best way to recognize what will connect with them. We don't all learn the same way so we shouldn't all be taught the same way." Kevin is organizing much of the content to make this application and strongly believes it will help people to understand each other better, and not just individuals with Aspergers.
Lauren Eby: Working with Miss Pivot has given Lauren the opportunity to better understand the difficulties some individuals have in connecting with others. Josh and Kevin have taught her that with the right tools and effort, anyone can improve their social skills. Lauren is passionate about helping others and believes Miss Pivot's visions will pave the way for many who seek to change their lives for the better.
Risks and challenges
We've already completed the risky portion of the project by building the application already. The rest of the funding will be used to complete building the assets, partner with educators, autistic specialists, and organizations to help as many people as possible.
This is about getting the best help to the people that need it ASAP! So please help us with pledging as well as spreading the word. If you have ever found a situation difficult, or didn't understand why some people behaved the way they did, this can be your opportunity to give back by helping these individuals.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Social Blindness is an effort to assist individuals with high-functioning Autism and Asperger's learn the social skills needed to navigate life. We began by offering individual coaching and group workshops in Chicago and Indianapolis. This Kickstarter project is all about the next step. Our goal is to help individuals regardless of their location. So we're taking the core teachings of our workshops and coaching services and putting them into an app that individuals can use to learn on their own. The application will feature a student version and a teacher version, which allows individuals to interact and ask questions from an instructor. This enables them to receive real-time, personalized feedback.
There is a hotly debated reclassification that will merge Asperger's into the Autism Spectrum Disorder. It was intended to help individuals receive the appropriate help according to their classification. Though many speculate it will be harder for those individuals with high-functioning Autism and with Asperger's to be classified appropriately and receive the appropriate help they require.
Our goal with Social Blindness is to make this very affordable. We are investigating how to make a free version of the app that still allows the application to be sustainable for future growth.
Learning tools, such as machines and video-modeling interfaces, are being used to teach children with autism about human emotion and communication. These non-reactive tools allow kids to feel comfort without negative feedback. With the increased popularity and interactivity of tablets and computers, we believe this is the perfect method to teach adults body language and facial reading skills. The ability to hold a tablet and mouse also help to improve visio-motor skills.
- (36 days)