When Lori Jackson and Steve Peck, founders of The Connections Model (www.theconnectionsmodel.com), wanted to create a new app specifically designed to help children on the autism spectrum manage their behavior in class they turned to Rocket Farm Studios.
“We have been in education for fifteen years working with kids on the spectrum with major disabilities,” said Jackson. “Because these children with complex global disabilities don’t understand their emotions and how to express them, they often resort to anger or just shut down. The app we wanted to create came from this issue that takes them out of their classrooms, from their place of learning. Due to their behavior, they were missing class 50 to 70 percent of the time.”
Peck designed a prototype of KidConnect, an app used by both educators and students to help identify the emotions they were feeling and how to express these emotions in a constructive way. This early version showed amazing results when tested with students.
“These kids use the app, work through their emotions, and then get reengaged in class,” Jackson said. “They don’t have to leave the room at all. They learn strategies to use instead of anger or withdrawing. They learn better behaviors and what their feelings mean. The outcome is they spent 75 to 80 percent of the time in class.”