Color codes for the entire family

The use of color codes has long been recognized as an aid, when working with children and young people with autism and ADHD. The signal value in the visual support is a lot stronger than using words, and the colors makes it easy to navigate in a busy daily life. The family Andersen has chose to utilize this in a somehow different way. At their house, the family has given themselves color codes, which is a great help for Zander, 10 years old, who has ADHD and autism.

Rikke Andersen is the mother of 10 year old Zander, who has been diagnosed with ADHD and autism. Zander has an increased need for structured plans, and it is also important for him to have an overview of what the rest of the family does. The family has previously used pictograms and other board based systems, but they made Zander feel different, and he often became angry with the support aids, because he was the only one using them.

This made the family look for a support aid, that could be combined with some of Zander’s interests, and in that way earn his approval. As Zander takes a great interest in technology, they started to look at digital support aids, and they chose Mobilize Me:

”It was especially important to us that we could use different color codes. Zander really wants to know what the whole family does, and that is why we schedule the whole family’s plans using different colors. His younger sister Lea is e.g. red, his mom is yellow and his dad is green. Their joint activities are white, It is a brilliant system, and it has been a positive change in our lives”
Rikke AndersenMother

Besides the color codes, the family is happy that they can use different pictures in the support aid, so they aren’t confined to using pictograms. Furthermore, Mobilize Me is so simple to use, that Zander can take part in planning his day, which builds his confidence and supports his interest in technology. If a template has been used too long, Zander can find new pictures for it, making the activities interesting again. “It gives him ownership of the support aid, and the template function makes it easy for him”, Rikke says.

Just like many of Mobilize Me’s other users, Zander primarily uses Mobilize Me to get an overview of his daily life, and to remember chores and activities. Zander has used the support aid for a year and a half, and even though he no longer needs to look at it as often as he used to, being able to log on during the day provides him with a sense of security. “It has given him a lot more peace of mind, and he can focus on the things he is doing”, she says.

“Most children are attracted by things happening on a screen, and we might as well use that fascination constructively.”
Rikke AndersenMother

Zander’s satisfaction with the support aid has rubbed off on his younger sister Lea, who has started to use it once in awhile. “You don’t need to have a diagnosis for this to make sense”, Rikke says and elaborates: “Most children are attracted by things happening on a screen, and we might as well use that fascination constructively.” The family is in the process of introducing Mobilize Me at Zander’s school, and they are sure that the support tool will help them for many years to come.