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Why I Hack - A Father's Perspective on Technology and Autism

This is a guest blog post from Josh Carter, Senior Support Engineer at Twilio and catalyst for the Twilio Autism Hackathon event.

When my wife and I began this journey into parenthood, we knew that it was going to be a challenge. Being responsible for raising a child into a well-rounded individual was a task we didn't take lightly. We knew we were going to be in for a fun ride filled with amazing moments. Our journey took an unplanned turn when we learned our youngest son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). We were told that he would not be able to do much on his own but with enough therapy he may have a chance. Thankfully we got an early diagnosis when our son was 2 years old and have been able to work with him as he ages. We caught it remarkably early considering most parents only realize there is something wrong with their kids at an average age of 6 years old.

The Autism Hackathon means so much to me on a personal level. My son still has a fighting chance to be able to function in this world on his own. Technology is becoming so advanced that we are no longer bound by its limitations. The only limitation is our imagination. Medical and technological advancements have meant that my son will be able to have the same chances. He will be treated the same when it comes to how services are allocated for others in his position. It means that he will be able to have an incredible opportunity to, not only live, but thrive.

I am so excited for this hackathon. Twilio and Autism Speaks have been incredible partners and I'm really looking forward to the event on July 20th at the new headquarters of Twilio in San Francisco. I also love the fact that I work for Twilio. It's kind of a bonus for me. Never in my career have I felt more creative at a company and it has put me in the incredible position to put together this hackathon. I look forward to seeing everyone at the hackathon and what our amazing community of developers are able to come up with during the 24 hour event! Happy hacking!

The event will take place at Twilio HQ in San Francisco July 20th -21st. Register for the event here.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.