In 2011, Victoria University researcher Dr Stefan Schutt helped set up The Lab, a computer and technology collective made up of IT mentors from around Australia, with the intent to help autistic children navigate social norms and build meaningful relationships.
Online communities are ideal for children suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD), given that there is a greater potential to intensely explore specific interests easily, and less pressure to conform to accepted norms. By providing a manageable space for ASD kids to express themselves and share their skills and interests, The Lab helps them forge their own path through life, hopefully translating to a better overall quality of life and prospects in the future.
The Lab currently has 12 technology clubs located in QLD, NSW, VIC and NT. Thank you, Dr Schutt, for your consideration of young people with ASD and of the role of technology. Way to keep it clever!