A state-of-the-art mobile app – Helping Hand – developed to relieve the anxiety and stress of a potential autism diagnosis, has been developed by researchers at the Salvesen Mind room Research Centre, University of Edinburgh.
The app, which is available to download for free across Scotland and is currently being piloted in NHS Lothian, allows carers and parents, referred for assessment in Scotland, to take note on challenging behaviour as well as the sleeping patterns in their child. Furthermore, the app provides links to resources and information on autism. It has been said that the app could relieve the process stress on the children, carers and parents, through giving clinicians a clearer insight into a child’s behaviours.
“Mobile App Helping Hand developed to relive anxiety and stress of a potential autism diagnosis. “
A researcher from the University of Edinburgh, Dr Louise Marryat, stated: “Our research is focused on creating new knowledge about learning difficulties and using that knowledge to design ways to enable people to thrive. Parents and carers told us they often find the autism assessment process stressful, describing it as like being left in limbo. This new app aims to lower stress levels by managing expectations about the process and giving parents and carers more control.”
App tester and parent of an autistic child, George Watts, stated: “Many parents are scared by the idea of their child being autistic and they often come across tragic stories which add to that fear. It can be hard to know where to turn for accurate information. This app has the potential to be truly empowering for parents going through this challenging time.”