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Student develops device to help those with autism

A Lackawanna College student created a sensory stimulation device to bring a sense of calm.

SCRANTON, Pa. — A Lackawanna College student was inspired by his cousin with autism to create a new tool. It looks almost like a Lite Brite toy.

Thomas O'Hop says his first customers were nightclubs, but once he introduced the sensory-friendly tool to the autism community, it really took off.

O'Hop credits his cousin Katie for the idea.

"I always saw how easily she was calmed during outbursts by bright lights. I knew there was some benefit to it, I didn't know what, so I designed this little peg board, and she was able to remove the pegs and instantly calm down from the lights. It's called sensory stimulation," O'Hop explained.

He also didn't realize how many more benefits exist, from brain injury patients relearning how to use their hands to elderly patients suffering memory loss.

O'Hop says he has some potential investors and partnerships in the works. He's currently focused on winning a competition called tecBRIDGE.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.  

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