An Ocala mom is using new technology for therapy for her autistic son.
She's one of only 8,000 testers for Google Glass, an experimental, wearable computer that can record video, surf the web, and make phone calls.
The parent of a child with autism, Delsa Darline has been studying the disorder for years. Her son is her most valuable research subject.
"He has these big amazing moments."
But it's the moments she couldn't see that frustrated her. Triggers would set him off, when she wasn't in the room, causing what Darline called "meltdowns". So, when Rory was a baby, she set up a video camera pointing at his crib.
"You see coaches use it during sports. They use video to go back and say ‘where did we go wrong? What happened?' And I would do the same thing," Darline said.
Video playback became vital for understanding Rory's triggers. But, Darline said, eventually he got used to being recorded.
"He's very well aware of it. He's gotten almost used to it that he will ham up a bit, and that doesn't really help anyone when I want to share it," she told us. "I lost all the raw moments that I used to be able to capture when he was younger."
So when Google put out the call for testers for Google Glass, a wearable computer, Darline jumped at the chance, becoming one of 8,000 "explorers" in the world.
By putting on Google Glass and simply saying "record a video" Delsa can get those moments back, watching his expressions and reactions, learning from them, even sharing them.
"With Google Glass as soon as I heard about it, as soon as I learned how it worked, I knew this was my opportunity to get those moments back and to be able to put them out there, and be able to share how wonderful and how far he's come in all of this," she said.
Autism experts call technology like Google Glass the next phase in understanding and treating social disorders.
Robin Byrd, coordinator for Education at the Center for Autism at the University of Florida said, "Kids with autism, their behavior changes constantly, their learning changes constantly, their interaction with the environment changes constantly, and I think Google Glass is a very powerful tool because it is real time, on the spot, collection of video data, as it's happening."
"This gives me the ability actually put that out there and show people, this is autism."
Darline said she chats online with other explorers and completes a developer survey for Google every 2 months.
Google glass is set to be released in early 2014.