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Two KC companies develop technology to help students with ASD and ADHD

For some young people with neurological conditions like ADHD and high-functioning autism, remembering and following routines can be challenging. Parents can offer support and help with managing tasks in the home, but busy teachers aren’t always able to fill that role at school.

Two Kansas City tech companies are coming together to develop a solution with an app called Routine Success.

Routine Success is a smartwatch application created by Matt Gunter that can bring “routines” to assist children in staying focused and organized, particularly at school.

“I developed Routine Success because I saw firsthand how regular routines can help young people with conditions like Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD be more productive, confident, and independent throughout the day,” said Gunter. “Routine Success allows parents to help their kids with regular routines even when they can’t be with them.”

Parents can use the app to build a virtual schedule for their child’s day. The smartwatch then vibrates gently to prompt the child to take particular actions. Parents receive notices when tasks are completed.

Nascent Stage Development, formed by Bob Etzel, now owns the rights to develop Routine Success.

“The Nascent Stage Development team is thrilled to work with Matt Gunter in helping children with ASD,” Etzel said. “The theme for our company is ‘Socialization for the Next Generation.’ Our brands support people with ASD by helping them overcome obstacles they face in social settings.”

Nascent turns early-stage innovations into marketable technologies. Nascent is also working with iSocial, a technology out of the University of Missouri-Columbia that helps children with autism develop social skills.

The Thompson Center on Autism and University of Missouri Research teammates is providing their expertise to the development team.

Routine Success and Nascent Stage Development met through Whiteboard 2 Boardroom, a university-backed program that works to provide the right technology connections among research institutions, entrepreneurs and corporations.

Jim Baxendale, Director of Whiteboard 2 Boardroom, said the program initially came out of a National Science Foundation innovation grant partnership between four regional schools: UMKC, University of Kansas, Johnson County Community College and William Jewell College.

“We were looking to see if we could establish an innovation culture in the smaller institutions and start pushing some innovation out of those places,” said Baxendale.

Whiteboard 2 Boardroom now has a network of 23 partner research institutions to help get projects and startups to the “finish line,” whether that be finding a CEO, developer or strategic partner, or helping to find prototyping opportunities.

That’s the role Baxendale played in connecting Gunter and Etzel in July of 2017.

“It became a project for me to find a CEO, strategic partner or whatever [Gunter] might need,” said Brazendale. “I’m constantly trying to fill one bucket with technologies and the other bucket with entrepreneurs or companies looking for new technologies.”

That connection made all the difference for Routine Success, which is now able to develop their science and technology offerings and help improve the lives of students with ASD and ADHD.

“We are now solving socialization issues for the next generation of kids by using the next-gen technologies that will be common in their lives,” Etzel said.


Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.

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