At Autism Animated, we are an inclusive community of people with autism, caretakers, relatives, therapists, researchers and advocates of all ages who are coming together to share friendship, articles, resources, blogs, personal experiences, and discussion. The site was launched by Gary Jesch, the founder of Invirtua, in 2015.
Gary Jesch comes to the world of healthcare as an artist seeking to make a difference in the lives of those on the autism spectrum. During his 20 years as a professional and pioneer in performance animation, he always marveled at how much both he and children love to make cartoon characters speak in real time.
During his career, he came across the work of Dr. Rosalind Picard, a researcher at MIT’s Media Lab. She was investigating how simple things like facial expressions and body language are easier for those with autism to understand if they can be modeled with virtual characters. He saw his work dove-tailing with her studies and vowed to bring his technology to help those on the spectrum, thereby launching Invirtua, a serious game company.
In July 2014, he introduced his first 3D Digital Puppeteer ™ system at the Autism Society’s annual conference to the amazement of therapists and parents. He began assembling an Advisory Board, business partners and a team of dedicated volunteers to get live animation into the hands of autism treatment centers and researchers around the US.
Autism Animated is a community intended to empower social growth, enable improved communication of scientific, therapeutic and personal accomplishments, facilitate new relationships, create an improved understanding of autism and resources available, and enhance connectivity within our community. Above all, we are working so that people with autism are nurtured in ways that help them rise to their greatest expressions of themselves.
You are important. By sharing your experiences, knowledge, opinions, joys, hopes and challenges, we hope to build friendships and have some animated discussions. Welcome to our community.
-- The Invirtua Family