Kyle Barton is a year-old guy on the autism spectrum. But he lives like the diagnosis isn't there. It's not that he's in denial; he just doesn't like the autism label. He's got other things on his mind, such as designing the latest development in a virtual learning program steered by the University of Texas at Dallas' Center for BrainHealth.
Ten minutes later, I was smack in the middle of New York City crosswalk, looking up at the sky, the buildings, the construction going on to the right as some guy set down his iced coffee and went back to work. Amid all the cacophony, my world went dark. Then, I was standing in the middle of the lush Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park looking up at tremendous mossy covered Western Hemlocks, the only sound of a stream gurgling at my feet. A surreal sculptural installation by an artist whom I recently covered in a story Rachel Lee Zheng, layers monofilament lit by eerie green LED lights while participants sit in chairs with virtual reality headsets and earphones.
So is this what the world is coming to? I had no idea that the internet was full of these alternative universes. I assume that eventually there will never be a need to leave the house.