The project was born from the observation of the surrounding reality and from the will of the Salesians of Pamplona to face the problem. The experience has thus gathered a group of students who have put themselves to work to try to overcome the difficulties that children with ASD encounter in communication and interaction with the environment.
At the beginning of the last school year, students in the first year of Automation and Robotics of the Salesians in Pamplona were asked to investigate how electronics, automation and robotics could help reduce the barriers that people with ASD face daily.
The project, with the double value of Learning and Service (ApS), was carried forward throughout the year.
Both the pupils and the teachers of the school were involved: the activities provided for a preventive training on the theme of the ASD, visits to see how the Association for Autism of Navarre works with these children, and the creation of prototypes until the final construction of the devices.
In this way they have developed: a portable multisensory "room", an interactive machine for making soap bubbles, an electronic agenda, a blackboard to set up habits, a device for managing shifts, a visual timer and a noise meter for the classrooms.
"It was intense work," the students reported. "It is motivating to help others, but at times we were overwhelmed, not only by the difficulties presented during the development of the project ... We have invested many, many hours, but the result has repaid our efforts!"
Now only the most rewarding part is missing: delivering the devices to real recipients and sharing the projects on the network. "We do not want the work we have done to be left alone, set aside among done projects. We want anyone who wishes to and is interested to have the documentation we produced, replicate it and maybe even improve our devices. This is why we have created a web page where you can download everything you need."
For its part, the "Santa Luisa de Marillac" Institute, which works with children with ASD, has expressed its willingness to welcome Salesian students in their classrooms. "It was a great experience to share our needs with them and see how they welcomed them with interest and looks of complicity that seemed to say to us: 'we can do it!'," said their teachers.