Brain in Hand is a really good resource for helping people with autism, mental health issues or those with brain injuries by managing their anxieties and giving them the opportunity to live their lives as independently as possible.
We know as parents, carers and professionals that autism involves being in control a lot of the time. The need for organisation is great and even more important is a solution to help these people when things don't turn out the way they had planned. This service really does seem to work, it can be tailored to each persons needs and acts as a buffer for times when needed the most. There are a lot of students using this to support them through college, university and also for those in the workplace too.
It isn't something I have used personally so I can't vouch for it but have read a lot into it and love the idea. Does it help those with more high functioning autism? Maybe, but it is something to try. I am constantly thinking whether these kind of things would work for my son, and I'm not sure but in some cases it's a matter of 'give it a go or you'll never know'.
Basically this is a software which contains a diary and within this diary the user may enter all the details for their typical timetable, this includes from the moment of waking to the time they go to bed. You can include all timed activities and also those unplanned scenarios that may crop up. The software also provides solutions or coping strategies that may arise. To support this there is a traffic light system where green is fine, amber indicates a little more anxiety and when the time comes to press red this refers you to call your support assistance for more help. Your assistance may come from the National Autistic Society who fully support this programme, an organisation such as college or work or a family member. This will be someone you will speak to on the phone to help you immediately.
Brain in Hand works from an app on your phone and then you can also access all the information from a portal on a pc/laptop too. This comes in handy to go over you day and see where you can improve certain situations and this information can also be used at a EHCP review meeting. I think that is brilliant as the evidence of every day life, strengths and weaknesses are all there logged and it would make the process so much easier.
This all does come at a cost and I'll be honest I had to take a deep breath in, tossed it to one side and thought now way! Just like you may do now when I tell you but stick with me a moment longer.
The app is FREE to download, it contains a good example of how it can be used too, that's the good news.......
The initial cost for the licence is £540 and this includes the users own personal website, the cost of the traffic light alerts and technical support.
There is a set up fee of £280 but I'm sure this may be possible to set up by yourself.
There is an added fee if you use a support mentoring service such as the NAS or another organisation but having a family member to mentor may keep the cost down.
So yes arggggggghhhhh it's expensive BUT there are ways you can try and fund it. If your young person has a EHCP you can apply for the personal budget for this as it is classed as an aid to support their needs.
There is also the Disability Students Allowance and other bursaries that are available at colleges so contact your local provider for more information. ALWAYS ask for funding support as there just maybe something available which you don't know about and sometimes it is a case of asking rather than waiting to be told. Be pushy and demand it, for one you are entitled and two this kind of service can cut down the services from local councils massively so they should be glad to help (in theory).
Here are a few links to help you find some more information:
Brain in Hand Website www.braininhand.co.uk
The Government website is good for information on finance for students with disabilities. Here is the link to information regarding allowances and bursaries:
This isn't a service that is going to suit everyone but I thought I would highlight it just in case it may be of any help. The reviews of those people using it are very positive and it has made a big difference to people's lives so it does look positive. The other thing this service does provide is reassurance for a parent or carer because as much as we would love to wrap our children up in some cocoon preventing them from ever having enter the big world out there, we can't, so we have to rely on finding something to help.
If you are using Brain in Hand please let me know by leaving a comment below as I would love to know how it is working out.
Thank you for reading today and please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday.
Take care for now.......
Every Saturday I will be talking about Autism and will review any useful information which may have been highlighted at any support groups in the week.