Tying your shoe lace, opening the door, packing your bag, going from school to home -- These tasks that may sound like simple are challenges that 1 in 68 children with autism face everyday. Children with pervasive developmental disorder struggle with executive functions and transitioning from activity to activity or an environment to another.
Executive functions consist of several mental skills that help the brain organize and act on information. These skills enable people to plan, organize, remember things, prioritize, pay attention and get started on tasks. They also help people use information and experiences from the past to solve current problems (source: Understood for learning & attention issues).
After talking to parents and behavior therapists, our team learned that younger elementary children with autism need to have these skills rewarded and reinforced to overcome these challenges by their caregivers. However we learned that many parents, especially from low-income households do not have a lot of accountability with other caregivers such as social workers or teachers. The lack of support and resources results in extreme exhaustion and the feeling of guilt, isolation and helplessness that might lead to withdrawal.
These result in a reinforcing feedback loop. Parents are clueless about certain behaviors in their children and don’t know how to best deal with them. As a result, the children have a problem transitioning and progressing. This adds to the anxiety and confusion of the parents.
Everyday struggles and everyday wins: these things we don’t think about and take for granted are major victories for parents with kids on the spectrum. - Rob Gorski, Parent of 3 Children with ASD
Small Wins Timeline
Swar Raisinghani grouping post-its during a brainstorming session
Team Small Wins brainstorm session
Small Wins Key Stakeholders Map
Workshop with Occupational Therapists at SPOTS
To alleviate this problem, we designed Small Wins, a learning management system that helps all caregivers of children with autism to collaborate and share information/stories about a child’s daily educational and behavioral progress in a quick and easy way.
“Tracking as a rewards... motivation for a child to do better” - Mother of 11 year old boy with ASD
“This product provides a lens into what the child is like when he/she works with each of these professionals. It also shows how the child is developing in each of these spheres of development, and what we can do in the classroom to supplement what is going on in these sessions.” - Integrated Public School Teacher
“This can solve for the need of constructive and realistic conversations...”
- Occupational Therapist at SPOTS