Socializing resources for Autistic people

Christie U, Nanayaa A

Connected is a website designed to make it easier for people with autism to communicate and connect with others. There are 4 icons on our website to address issues people with autism face: Social Tips, Chat With Gamma, Emoji Me, and Friendly Places. Social Tips offers methods on getting out of conversations, tricks to making eye contact, and other advice. Chat With Gamma, using Watson Conversation, is a chatbot trained in making friends and making conversation. Emoji Me is quiz game designed to help people learn to recognize and interpret emotions. Friendly Places uses a Google Map API and shows a map of organizations in Manhattan dedicated to helping people with autism.

Chat With Gamma

Although our website will not get rid of the problem completely, we tried to make an easier way for people with autism to communicate with others. People with autism are characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors. They are unable to recognize and interpret what other people are thinking and feeling. This makes it difficult to interact with other people and connect with them.

Our solution to this was to break it down into smaller parts that would be easily accessible on our website Connected. On our site, we have 4 icons: Social Tips, Chat With Gamma, Emoji Me, and Friendly Places. Each of these icons address some of the problems people with autism face. We also included riddles on each page to serve as a break for users. By breaking it down, we are able to provide more resources for people with autism.

To build this website, we used HTML, CSS, and Javascript for the homepage and most of the icons. We used one of Watson’s API services, called Conversation, to create the Chat With Gamma icon. Training the chatbot was difficult because we had learn about and create intents, entities, and dialogues. Additionally designing the icons were difficult at first since we had to do a lot of research into people with autism.

"Connected is a great resource for autistic people to improve their social skills" ~Dorit Rein

Christie is a rising senior  in New Jersey and Nanayaa is a rising senior in the Bronx. These girls joined Girls Who Code with no experience but as they continued the program, they were able to learn to code in Python, HTML, CSS, and Javascript. With those computer languages, they were able to create a snow animation, Pokemon game, and photo editor. Being at the program for 7 weeks taught them how to bring their ideas together. They decided to create a website that would hopefully help people with autism learn more about what to do in different social situations.

This project was made by Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program students at IBM (NYC).