As a high school junior, Ben creatively combined his interests in engineering, design, and problem-solving to develop The Magic Arrows, a therapeutic game for children with Fragile-X syndrome, which is on the spectrum of autism. Ben was first inspired to create a calming and entertaining game just for a dear friend with Fragile-X, to help decrease his friend’s stress and the severity of anxiety-induced seizures. To build the most well-designed and effective game he could, Ben recruited and led a team of 25 students, school administrators, teachers, and local businesses to take part in what has become a community-wide project. In July 2014, Ben presented his game to an international audience at the National Fragile-X Foundation (NFXF) Conference with 900 parents, doctors, and researchers in attendance.
The audience hailed The Magic Arrows as an incredibly exciting development with the potential to change how children with Fragile-X manage their schedules and most successfully cope with their anxiety. Since Ben’s speech, The Magic Arrows received a United States Patent, the NFXF started the development of a computer game analog and spearheaded efforts to promote broader distribution of The Magic Arrows, and the renowned University of California Davis’ M.I.N.D. Institute is using a prototype of Ben’s game as a method for future cognitive testing.