I've been invited to give feedback to all Parsons students, regarding your thesis projects.
In reading your project synopsis above, I'm left feeling a little underwhelmed when potentially this idea could be very powerful and impactful.
First, your problem statement is unclear. Are you solving a socialization problem among autistic kids? Or are you trying to bring about awareness of autism? I'm not sure how the light sensors on the interactive tool do either...and although the toy itself sounds super cool, it just doesn't have solid grounding or a well-thought-through reason for being...
Try to take the technological solution away from the issue you're addressing, for starters, and then re-articulate the problem. Then, ask yourself if there's a SOCIAL solution before involving gadgetry. Finally, put it all together again, from problem through to solution.
I'd be happy to read your iterated version and comment again. I think the issue is important, and I know you can come up with a creative solution that unites the autistic children to the larger social context that surrounds them.
Go for it, J.