A Mother's Story of Autism and Assistive Technology

How Tiimo app supports Marcus, diagnosed with infantile autism, throughout his day.

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Mar 3, 2019

Tiimo member

March 3, 2019
Charlotte Egeskov
Content Manager

Marcus is nine years old and was diagnosed at the age of four with Infantile autism. From the day he was born, his mom, Rikke, knew that there was something special about Marcus. On and off, he has problems with change, uncertainty and nervousness which means that Marcus needs to take small steps and practice really hard to overcome his challenges. For example, when going to a swimming pool for the first time, they start by seeing the parking space. Next, they would look in through the windows and then visit the entrance before going straight to the pool. Marcus is the one that sets the boundaries in the family and they follow his needs. He had a hard time using pictograms so Rikke started looking for an alternative and found Tiimo which the family really loves using.

Rikke: I got to know Tiimo through the Communication Centre because I needed to find an alternative solution to pictograms which Marcus had difficulties using. We were very lucky that we got to try out the app first for free and early on, it became apparent that Tiimo had everything that we were looking for. We use different supportive tools at home to help Marcus minimize and overcome sensory impressions. Headphones that block out the sound and an iPad that gives Marcus a bit more space, so the environment can disappear for a moment, and now, we also use Tiimo. Within only a week of using the app, Marcus became way more independent when going through his daily routine, like brushing his teeth, putting on his clothes and so on. I couldn’t stop jumping for joy!

Within only a week of using the app, Marcus became way more independent when going through his daily routine, like brushing his teeth, putting on his clothes and so on. I couldn’t stop jumping for joy!

We use Tiimo to give Marcus internal peace, more energy and security. The app helps him have an overview so he can follow what is going on and what is about to happen. Meanwhile, Tiimo helps him get through tasks that aren’t really fun by telling him when it starts, when he’s halfway there and when it is done. In addition, he can always see how much time is left of any given activity, when there are breaks and countdown till the next activity. Marcus feels secure in knowing all this which gives him more energy to cope with any unforeseen sensory impressions. The watch is a great solution because it doesn’t take over the important function of the iPad and is always on. Last but not least, there is a huge advantage that the watch helps him through his mornings because if he finds anything annoying then he becomes grumpy at the watch instead of me and gives me permission to help him out.

We love Tiimo. It has become an important daily assistant which has increased Marcus’s independence and gives him more energy. It has also made our everyday lives at home smoother. There’s more room to practice new skills and also room for other, bigger experiences for the whole family.

I really don’t understand why this app wasn’t created before! Paint sticks with velcro and big binders full of pictograms are now way back in the past!

Infantile autism is a diagnosis for children who have clear signs of autism spectrum disorder before the age of 3. Often there will be significant deviations and deficits in language, play and development.

Tiimo is a modern planning tool that gives structure to everyday tasks which include a visual countdown timer and is a smart alternative to pictograms. Tiimo is an icon-based app for smartwatches which gives children support throughout the day and is easily portable.

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