One focus was on exhibitors of technologies focusing on special education students' needs.
I stopped by the BrainAid suite and had a lively conversation about executive function and technological supports with Brain Aid's president, Rich Levinson.
Levinson was a robotics researcher at NASA-Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. In the early 1990s, Levinson began studying the neuropsychology of human planning -- executive function--in order to increase autonomy for NASA robots such as the Mars Rover.
In 1995, Levinson proposed a computer model of human frontal lobe function. That computer model led to the development of the Planning and Execution Assistant and Trainer -- PEAT™. It is an Android-based application that aids individuals with memory, attention and cognitive disorders.
PEAT was originally designed for brain injury rehabilitation -- specificially traumatic brain injury with the Veterans' Administration-- but has been used by many people with nearly all forms of cognitive impairment including mild cognitive impairment, early dementia, stroke, autism, ADHD, PTSD, hypoxia and others.
Right now, BrainAid is working with a Santa Clara County school district to build PEAT's capability to help students with executive function dysfunction (conditions such as autism and ADHD) be more successful academically.
I can see the PEAT device, with modifications, also being very useful for autistic adults, who often have executive function challenges that reduce quality of life. I like the way BrainAid puts "autonomy" front and center -- "autonomy is our core value".
Kassiane wrote a nifty article on "Autistifying My Habitat"that illustrates her low-tech way of overcoming some of the executive function challenges particular to her and her living situation. Karla Fisher has a number of reflections on autistic executive function, but this essay is a great place to start.