Patrick, a twelve year old with Asperger’s Syndrome, has begun to experience a variety of challenges around health and hygiene as he grows up. He is no longer comfortable being bathed by his parents each day, but left on his own, Patrick often goes days without showering or brushing his teeth. He has always been included in regular education classrooms in addition to his center-based courses, but his teachers and classmates have begun to complain about his poor hygiene. Patrick and his parents have been extremely pleased with his overall progress in becoming independent and participating in school activities. However, they are all concerned about Patrick’s health and hygiene.
Using HygieneHelper, Patrick works with his parents and teachers to set goals around independently developing healthy hygiene habits. He also uses the application to learn about hygiene related issues, remind himself what he should be doing as part of healthy daily routines, and track his progress. Because he is using his smartphone, instead of traditional instruction from his parents or teachers, Patrick feels more independent. Additionally, the smartphone is something his peers find “cool,” unlike other assistive technologies he has rejected over the years.
Finding hygiene information can be challenging and sometimes embarrassing. Although they can access the internet through smartphones, iPods, and other mobile devices, browsing online through these devices for hygiene specific information can be cumbersome to children and teens trying to learn about key concepts when and where they most need the information (e.g., in the bathroom).
HygieneHelper focuses on delivery of educational content on a small, mobile, personal device. The educational modules provide information about a variety of hygiene related topics, such as brushing teeth, flossing, washing hands, getting dressed and wearing weather appropriate clothing, washing regularly, using deodorant, and so on. The HygieneHelper curriculum builds on established literature as well as custom materials developed by researchers at UCI and Tiwahe. Through HygieneHelper, users can also track their daily routines and see progress.
You can download HygieneHelper for free through the Google Play store. If you use and like HygieneHelper, please rate us at Google Play.
We are working on iOS and Blackberry versions.