Applause for Sensory Friendly Films

sensory friendly films

  AMC Theatres are a great example to other corporates in providing an opportunity for families affected by autism to enjoy the kinds of entertainment others take for granted. AMC is the second largest movie theater chain in North America with 5,325 screens and 21,000 employees. Their Sensory Friendly Films provide families affected by autism with a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. As … [Read more...]

Robot helps kids with Autism

100828 - Kaspar

  Check this little guy out.  His name is Kaspar.  Those of us from Generation X might immediately think of a friendly ghost, but in fact Kaspar is a playful child size humanoid robot with a face inspired by comics and Japanese Noh theatre, no less. But more importantly, he is being used to help teach social skills to children on the autistic spectrum.  Nice! Kaspar stands for “Kinesics and Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robots” – and … [Read more...]

BrightMind LABS on 411 TV

100814 - 411 TV Show

  16 July 2010.  A great television interview with Dr Yvette Ahmad and Fraser Hurrell discussing MyFriendQuest - and the thinking behind it.   Check out this 6:45 minute interview on the 411 Technology Show on Maori TV on demand here >>>.    … [Read more...]

Jobs for autism

100814 - Thorkil Sonne

  Not many people with a child on the autistic spectrum embark on a mission to change the world in the way that Thorkil Sonne did.  In 2004, Mr Sonne set up a company in his native Denmark staffed almost entirely by folk on the autistic spectrum. That company – Specialisterne – has employed 155 people on the spectrum over the past six years.  It has an annual turnover of £2m - and has clients such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems.  Specialisterne … [Read more...]

Nigel Latta


"MyFriendQuest uses techniques backed my credible research to help kids learn the skills to make friends and fit in socially. I strongly recommend MyFriendQuest to teachers, professionals and parents as an enjoyable tool that achieves results". Nigel Latta Clinical Psychologist, Author & TV Presenter … [Read more...]

Clinical study – Asperger’s

100626 - RANZCP

10 May 2010 New Zealand Doctor. The delegates at this week’s congress of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists were presented a paper which will give hope to parents of children with high functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Read more >> … [Read more...]

Support of Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon faces the latest in a long series of court hearings on 25 and 26 May - three weeks after the UK general election.  Protest activity in different forms continues across the United Kingdom in support of Gary. Gary has Asperger's syndrome - and he faces extradition to the US after admitting to hacking into the Pentagon and NASA computer systems from his laptop in his girlfriend's flat.  Gary readily admits the allegations - but claims … [Read more...]

Pilot Clinical Study

Clinical Study

The My Friend Quest Pilot Clinical Study is nearing completion.  This study includes children aged between five and 13 - and with an existing diagnosis of either High Functioning Autism or Asperger's Syndrome. This research commenced in September 2009 - and has involved pre and post psychometric testing with scheduled use of MyFriendQuest for the duration of the research.  A big thank you to the families with a child diagnosed with either high … [Read more...]

Aspergers diagnosis DSMV


Publication of the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) is still three years away in May 2013 - but the proposed draft revisions were released for public comment on Friday.  It has hardly been a well-kept secret that the 600-or-so reviewers from around the globe would propose that Asperger's syndrome be eliminated as a separate disorder. … [Read more...]

Hope for Gary McKinnon?

The situation for Asperger's computer hacker Gary McKinnon took a turn for the better yesterday with the UK High Court concluded that extraditing Gary to the USA to face charges there may be a breach of his human rights. Gary McKinnon would face a prison sentence of up to sixty years if extradited to the USA for hacking into US military and NASA computers from a laptop computer in his then-girlfriend's London flat.  Gary admits breaching the … [Read more...]

Gary McKinnon

Good luck for tomorrow, Gary McKinnon!  At last count a couple of minutes ago, the "Save Gary McKinnon from Extradition" Facebook Page had a whopping 693,733 members.  That's a lot of people who feel strongly about the prospect of a man with Asperger's Syndrome being extradited from the UK to the USA for allegedly hacking into into networks at the Pentagon and NASA while searching for reports of UFO sightings. … [Read more...]

MyFriendQuest Trailer

Flux Animation Studios in Grey Lynn, Auckland were responsible for the creation of the MyFriendQuest game application and the animated prologue and epilogue to the BrightMind LABS brief.  Children and parents who have downloaded and used MyFriendQuest almost universally agree that Flux have done a fantastic job bringing this project to fruition. Here is a very cool trailer also created by Flux. … [Read more...]

Animals help kids with Autism

There is a lot of great work being done around the world showing how effective animals can be in helping kids with autism.  The benefits to kids on the spectrum from being around animals are well documented - from providing comfort to improving social interactions and relationships. … [Read more...]

Rain Man Returns


If you happen to be within easy reach of Norwich, UK, this will be worth seeing.  The Oscar-winning film Rain Man - which paired Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise as estranged brothers - has been adapted for the theatre. … [Read more...]

MyFriendQuest Launch

Finally - today, we launch MyFriendQuest.  MyFriendQuest is BrightmindLABS first product - and is a computer game clinically designed to teach children to recognize and respond appropriately to emotions.  But if you have come far enough into this site to be reading this post, chances are you'll know that already. … [Read more...]

MyFriendQuest Clinical Study

The MyFriendQuest Pilot Clinical Study has now commenced.  This study includes children aged between five and 13 - and with an existing diagnosis of either High Functioning Autism or Asperger's Syndrome.  … [Read more...]

Scott James wins over Manchester

Scott James is an inspiration.  At 22 years of age, he has barely left his home for the past seven years. His social isolation is due to Asperger's Syndrome.  Scott's passion during that time has been singing - and he is now a contestant on Britain's talent show "The X Factor".  … [Read more...]

Autistic Game Designer

Here's a great story about an autistic boy playing to his strengths:  Jack Booth from Swindon, UK is 11 years old - and an internet hit thanks to his series of on-line games.  Jack has created games to challenge players around the world - including City Of The Dead, which no player has managed to complete in over 2,000 attempts.  … [Read more...]

Comp. Games to Help Kids


PSFK Daily News Site, New York Brightmind Labs is about to release their first video game, but it isn’t just any ordinary game. Targeted at kids aged 6 to 12 who suffer from depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder, this computer game will fuse together immersive gaming principles with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The idea of delivering CBT by computers is not new – it has been clinically proven to be effective, but … [Read more...]

Gary McKinnon

Anyone with even a passing interest in Twitter would be aware of the massive groundswell of support there for Gary McKinnon.  In a rough count over the past few hours, twitter posts with the hashtag #freegary have averaged around one every 90 seconds.  And the Free Gary McKinnon Facebook group has 8,291 members.  That adds up to a lot of people in cyberspace taking Gary's plight to heart.  … [Read more...]

Therapy in a Game


Idealog Magazine, New Zealand Long gone are the days when video games were just another outlet for children to develop lacksadaisical habits, poor eyesight and pre-arthritic thumbs. Today’s gaming scene is taking on a new approach: fresh, active and even therapeutic. Whangerei’s BrightMind Labs, founded by CEO Fraser Hurrell and clinical director Dr Yvette Ahmad, is a social venture that seeks to improve the lives of children with mental … [Read more...]

Movies depicting Asperger’s and Autism – good, bad & ugly.

There is mixed opinion regarding movies that depict conditions on the autistic sprectrum - and there is a spate of new releases coming up.  Here are some of them: … [Read more...]

Paddle for Autism Awareness

We're writing this post from somewhere over Nebraska returning from a week of meeting great folk in Boston.  One of the highlights was meeting Molly and the team from the Global Autism Project.  They are organizing a series of events this summer called "Paddle for Autism Awareness".  … [Read more...]

Update MyFriendQuest

Thank you to everyone who has enquired on where we are at with MyFriendQuest.  The last three months have been particularly busy - and launch of MyFriendQuest is now very close.  In the three months since the BrightMind LABS project's success at the Global Social Venture Competition in San Francisco, … [Read more...]

Paddle for Autism Awareness – Boston

The BrightMind LABS team are looking forward to meeting the "Paddle for Autism Awareness" event crew in Boston, MA on Saturday 8 August. This is a great cause - if you're in the Boston area or are attending this event we'd very much like to meet you there and say "hello"! … [Read more...]

The Penguin Myth

We have removed the story of the autstic boy and the penguin which we had previously posted to this blog having just discovered that it is untrue. It is a myth that has been circulating for some years, and we don't want to be a party to pertpetuating stories that aren't real. … [Read more...]


What on earth is psytainment?  Well psytainment is a term which we coined here at BrightMind LABS just for fun.  We were looking for a word which summed up what it is we are setting about making. … [Read more...]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

We talk a lot here at BrightMind LABS about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - and we're often asked what exactly is CBT?  Here's a quick reply to that most frequently asked of questions: … [Read more...]

BrightMind Labs wins Global Social Impact Assessment Prize

Global Social Venture Competition

University of California, Berkeley. Haas School of Business Newswire. BrightMind Labs uses electronic games to teach children on the autistic spectrum to understand and respond to emotions. Read more >> … [Read more...]

Global Social Venture Competition Finals – San Francisco

The Global Social Venture finalists presentation evening was tonight in Berkeley.  A great honor, the BrightMind LABS were tonight awarded global winners of the Social Impact Assessment category.  … [Read more...]

Global Social Venture Competition – Bangkok

Tonight the BrightMind LABS team were honored to win the Best Social Impact Award at the Asia Pacific semifinals of the Global Social Venture Competition.  Our entry today was under our previous name - "Click the Clam", which we have since rebranded to "BrightMind LABS". … [Read more...]