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Rob’s toy set to help people with autism

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 24, 2014

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A UNIVERSITY student is hoping his specially designed toy will help doctors find out whether youngsters are autistic.

Rob Mafrici created the contraption as part of his final year industrial design project at Brunel University, and hopes that the device will be rolled out across the country to help ‘red flag’ whether a toddler could be autistic at the earliest possible stage.

His efforts have been met with such high regard that his project was also picked to star as part of a prestigious exhibition on London’s South Bank.

The 22-year-old, who used to attend Ashby School before heading off to university, spoke to the Mail about his invention.

He said: ““Early diagnosis of autism is essential if children on the disorder spectrum are going to have the best chance in life. But diagnosis is a lengthy and time-consuming process.

“My design is aimed at giving early years teachers and toddler groups a toy which a child with autism will play with in a different way from those who aren’t on the spectrum.

“So it acts as a warning that further investigation is needed.”

The toy is currently at the prototype stage and Mr Mafrici hopes to now move it into production in the near future.

His creation was one of only a handful picked to showcase the best of Brunel University during the special exhibition.

More information is available at www.madeinbrunel.com

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