Teen with autism creates app for people on the spectrum

An English 18-year-old has created an iOS app to assist people living on the autistic spectrum. Software developer Ethan Shallcross, who himself has a form of autism, built the app to help people monitor their mental health, manage their anxiety and reduce burnout.

Aumi is targeted at people living on the spectrum but may be beneficial to anyone suffering from frequent burnout, anxiety, or struggles with mental health issues.

Shallcross devised the app to help him manage his own symptoms, after finding other mood journal apps to be insufficient for his needs. He created Aumi with its target users in mind, and notifications are silent and have a customisable frequency.

Speaking to Forbes, Shallcross says the entire app can be tweaked according to the individual preferences of users.

“The app is highly customisable across the board, meaning that people can use it in a way that makes sense to them. Also, there is no pressure to keep checking the app or to use it in a certain way. Often, technology tries to make users constantly users, which can be an unpleasant experience. Aumi is made to be used however the user wants,” says Shallcross.

He believes that the app may also help people access the best possible mental health treatment by allowing users to keep a detailed record of symptoms, saying it “means that people could now be able to go to therapists and other mental health professionals with a detailed account of their mood, rather than relying entirely on their memory”.

Aumi consists of four features. Users can track their mood by using the app, periodic notifications, or the widget, allowing them to track the frequency of their moods over a period of time.

An energy accounting tool lets users assign “Energy Impact Scores” to activities, detailing how exhausting or energising users experience an activity to be. This feature aims to reduce burnout.

The app’s planner is simple, allowing users to add activities, notes, location, a start time, an end time and a checklist. Using the energy accounting tool, users can ensure that they have added enough time to rest after particularly strenuous activities.

For users who may struggle with communication issues, the final feature of the app allows users to set up a profile that also details their sensitivity levels for their different senses. Using this tool might make it easier for users to communicate their sensory needs in the real world.

The app has seen great success in the UK, where it was number 5 on the Health and Fitness charts, and it managed to reach number 2 on the same chart in the Netherlands. Aumi is available from the Apple App Store.

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