The Lifesavers

The Lifesavers aim to re-design the school support environment for children with Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism. We are creating a smart wearable device that tracks the anxiety level of users, before alerting nearby 'Lifesavers' whenever the user experiences heightened anxiety.

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Description

Through preliminary interviews and research, we found that a majority of **_children with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA)_** are enrolled in mainstream MOE schools. Although parents hope that by doing so their child may learn social skills for interaction in mainstream societies, these children are often victims of social ostracism and bullying in schools. Despite the move towards a more inclusive education system, we realize that MOE teachers and neuro-typical students are still not well-equipped to understand and manage anxiety meltdowns of children with AS and HFA. In the event of an anxiety meltdown, both teachers and classmates of these children do not know how to react appropriately; sometimes, their responses might further aggravate the situation. This builds a wall misunderstanding between these children and their teachers/classmates that reinforces the social isolation that they face in mainstream school settings. Our **_problem statement_** is thus --- How might we better equip (1) mainstream MOE teachers, and (2) other neurotypical students to understand and manage anxiety meltdowns experienced by their classmates with AS or HFA? Our **_proposed solution_** involves re-designing the school support environment that children with AS and HFA learn and socialize in. Specifically, we aim to create a **_smart wearable band that tracks the anxiety level of the user_**. This wearable device is paired with a **_Telegram bot that alerts nearby teachers/classmates whenever a child experiences heightened anxiety, with personalized guiding steps to calm the child down_**.