Potty training is a challenging milestone to tackle, especially for those parents with children with learning impairments such as autism. The founders of AvaKid Productions sought to make this challenge easier with an innovative mobile application that outlines the actions of going to the bathroom. To make concept reality, AvaKid Productions turned to DDA, innovators of mobile application technologies.
With a background in neuroscience and having an autistic child of their own, the founders of AvaKid Productions aimed to not only show children the successful steps of going to the bathroom, but also to allow children to visualize themselves performing these actions. DDA answered this request with a custom-programmed mobile application, complete with Avatar creation. Using a simple touch screen menu, toddlers (with the help of their parents) build and name their very own AvaKid. From options in hair color and skin tone to variations in face shape and hair style, it is easy for children to make the potty training avatar distinctly their own. Important potty training action items are revealed in two informative and fun animations that are reinforced with energetic narrations and accompanying screen prompts.
Throughout development, DDA handled all aspects of production, including the design of an easy to use graphical user interface, the creation of custom illustrations, and the implementation of 2D animation and Flash programming. The design was kept purposefully simple so as not to distract from the demonstrated actions, and the embedded functionality made intuitive for ease of use. Children learn from not one but two animations showing an accident scene and a successful potty attempt. Embedded voiceover narrations reinforce pivotal steps and carefully structured animations clearly define facial expressions and body language for clear positive reinforcement. Additionally, a potty training resource provides parents with 15 helpful tips relating to preparation, behavioral reinforcement and shaping, and much more. Compatible with iOS- and Android™-powered devices, the app is available to a large audience of mobile device users.
Launched in the Android™ Market and Apple® iTunes Store®, the app has received a healthy reception with downloads growing steadily. Additionally, the App was reviewed on About.com and was stated as being "fun and easy to use" and good at keeping toddlers interested.
One Kentucky teacher offered her praise for the application in 2018. "I’m a teacher in KY and have TREMENDOUS success with potty training, but I credit 75% to your see me potty app.... I have one iPad that I REFUSE to update because I know I will loose access to this AMAZING tool.... so do you plan to update? I have lots of amazing data to share that supports your app for training students with autism.... I have a “avakid” school/home protocol.... We recently started back to school, and this was our first full week in session. Already, I have three students with autism “not potty trained” but have successfully used the bathroom this week! Please keep me updated and let me know how we can keep this awesome app going!!!!! Thank you so much for assisting in changing lives... this app is THE BEST!!!!! Hands down- the very best!"