The primary function of Buddy is to bring the Sensory room to the user through the format of interchangeable tactile feelings. This element of the product is customisable as each child is so different and will have their own preferences to tactile therapy. Having a large variety of tactile feelings will allow them to get the one that is just right for them. The character face of the product can also be customized with different mouth pieces, eyes and other accessories. This will encourage the children to share and swap these accessories with their friends, which will teach them valuable social skills in terms of sharing and also being responsible for someone else’s property.
The second issue Buddy helps with is communication. From my own first hand experience, as well as secondary research suggesting, those on the autistic spectrum can be very difficult to communicate with. This lead me to the idea of using picture emotions to allow the user to communicate how they are feeling. Buddy allows the user to simply point to the emotion,to indicate how they are feeling. Also, Buddy uses pictures as a visual timetable to help the user remember their daily routine. Routine is an important part of an autistic persons life as it helps to keep them calm as they know what they are doing and when they doing it, allowing them to remain stress free.
Buddy also has a Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT) unit specifically designed into the product. DPT is when you apply pressure to certain points in the body and it releases stress and tension. This is an excellent therapy technique for the user in the midst of a meltdown. .
Furthermore, research has shown that what tends to calm a person down is when someone places their hand on your shoulder. This mimics that of a what a parent would do to you when you were younger. Buddy is specifically designed to fit onto the user shoulder and act as reassurance that someone is therefore you and has your back. .
The best thing about Buddy is that he is transportable. Buddy can attach onto the users school bag, or even fit snugly into the users pocket. Allowing him to be with the user 24/7.
Most importantly….. He is your Buddy!! he is with you even during the hard times like your homework!