Lasting friendships are an important part of life, but making friends can be difficult for many people. Unfortunately, it can be even harder for people who are developmentally disabled, especially those who struggle to form meaningful connections with their peers. One California man may have a solution.
Recently, Ben Raskin created Friendi, an app specifically targeted at those with developmental disabilities, such as Autism, Asperger's, and Down Syndrome.
Raskin created the app with his 22-year-old friend and neighbor, Jared Selfridge in mind. Selfridge has autism, and his mother said her son has always struggled to make friends. She explained that she can teach him important life skills, but she cannot make friends for him.
Currently, the app is just in the beginning stages of testing, so there are not a lot of users yet. Friend matching for the app is based upon distance, age, and common interests. Parents can be involved in the process, messaging each other and exploring local resources for their children. The app takes some of the awkwardness out of meeting someone new. Not only can children form new friendships, but their parents can also connect with others in similar situations.
Of course, there are currently several apps for children with developmental disabilities, including apps that help children learn to read and that help them understand emotions. Then there are several dating apps and social apps that connect people to others with similar interests. Friendi is unique, though, in that it combines the two types of apps, appealing to a specific audience that is often overlooked.
- Four Challenges Some Special Education Students Face
- Homecoming Heroes - Celebrating Down Syndrome Royalty
- You Don't Look Autistic?
- How Speech Therapy Helps Children With Down Syndrome
- Singing Her Own Song -- Cirl With Autism Reveals Special Talent
- An Extra Special Wedding For a Special Education Teacher
- Love Without Labels -- Cherishing Your Down Syndrome Child
- Runway of Dreams - Fashionable Clothing For Special Needs Kids
- 10 Things Special Education Teachers Wish You Knew