Friendometry: Like an Online Dating Site, But for Kids Who Need Friends
Children with ADHD can struggle in social situations due to behavioral and emotional regulation issues. There’s an app (and web site) for that. “Friendometry” is a tool designed to help parents find suitable playmates for their teased/bullied/socially immature kids, and the app “Conversation Skills” is an accessible and fun way to ease the process of making friends.
Traditional parenting advice tells you to set up play dates with children who have similar interests. But how do you find the right friends for your quirky child? When approaching parents at the local park doesn’t work, there’s Friendometry.com — an online solution to find in-person friends.
Friendometry is a friend locator that works like an online dating site. You sign up, create a profile, and connect with other parents in your area. The matching and contact process remains in the hands of parents, not children, so Friendometry is safe for your family. Parents communicate anonymously until they are ready to take the relationship offline for a structured meet-up or play date.
The platform is designed to foster relationships between children who haven’t had social success in the past. Maybe they have been victims of bullying or struggle with social skills because of attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD), autism, or learning disabilities. Maybe they are just shy. That is why Daniel Kriz, a pediatric neuropsychologist, founded Friendometry.com. “We are now allowing millions of children the opportunity to find a friend in their town or city,” he says. Difficulty striking up new relationships doesn’t mean that children have to grow up feeling lonely.
Free for basic; iOS, $11.99; Android, $5.49
Good conversations are built on subjects of mutual interest, and balanced give and take. Finding the right topic to discuss—and leaving enough time and space for the other person to respond—can flummox children with ADHD or autism, who don’t pick up on small social cues.
The app “Conversation Skills” (happyfrogapps.com) is designed to help kids overcome the barriers to chatting successfully with friends: choosing what to talk about, figuring out how to join a conversation, and asking appropriate follow-up questions. They progress to the next level when enough correct answers show they’ve mastered the targeted skill. When kids practice in a calm environment, where they have time to consider how to respond, they can start to use these skills in real life.