Squag is a social application customized for teenagers and tweens on the autism spectrum to help them connect with their parents and with one another.
It was just a few months ago that we covered Auti, a toy designed to help autistic children learn how to better interact with others, and recently we came across another innovation with a similar goal. Squag is a social application customized for teenagers and tweens on the autism spectrum to help them connect with their parents and with one another. Parents begin by registering with Canadian Squag and setting up their child’s home page — called a “Squagpad”— on the ad-free and self-contained network. On this homepage, which is designed to have the appearance of a virtual room, they can leave curated content and positive messages for their son or daughter to see when they visit the page. Security is a top priority at Squag, so there’s no file sharing of any kind allowed. The site explains: “When the user arrives in their Squagpad, they are surrounded by all of their favorite things. They can watch videos, browse photos, and write in their journal. They scroll over their room, see positive messaging from their parents, and use them to create original thought about themselves.” Once the child is ready — and his or her parent’s application is approved — a proprietary matching system directed by parents can give the child a small sample of “Squaggers” to connect with based on common interests and shared experiences. If another Squagger accepts, the two users’ Squagpads pop up together on-screen, and all the thoughts they’ve each created about themselves become available for the other to view in order to spark a one-on-one conversation. The video below describes Squag in more detail: Social networks may now be everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they’re always suited for everyone. There’s still plenty of innovation to come in this area, so be inspired! Spotted by: Lisa Borden