A Pennsylvania father whose son has autism is creating an app that will help people with the disorder and their families.
Topher Wurts is developing the "Autism Village" app which will allow people in the autism community to add, rate and review different restaurants, museums, parks, playgrounds, and other locations based on "autism friendliness" -- the level of comfort or accommodation a place is able to give a person with autism.
The 48-year-old, who was inspired to take on the project because his 13-year-old son, Kirby, has the disorder, launched a Kickstarter to fund Autism Village and told HuffPost he expects to launch it this summer.
People who have the disorder, along with their families, may run into various challenges when visiting unfamiliar places.
Some people with autism may have special diets, while others may be sensitive to different environmental factors like light or sound. Certain locations may not be safe for a child with autism who has little awareness of his surroundings. Wurts told HuffPost in his son's case, the pair has difficulty going to places with overwhelming sensory elements.
"Kirby is very sensitive to sensory input and so loud and bright places are a problem," the 48-year-old said. "We always look for places that aren't going to create sensory overload."
Wurts explained that through the app, people will be able to indicate to others whether a restaurant menu is accommodating to someone on the autism spectrum, or if a location is overstimulating and therefore unsuitable for some people with the disorder.