Paige Slocum's son, Jake, was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old. Leading up to the diagnosis, there were a lot of questions. Ambiguities continued as Jake, now 8, grew older. Every child with autism is different. This Guilford mom felt like she was scrambling - trying "this and that" based on doctors advice - but not really finding the right equation of care for her son.
The statistics are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children are identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
With numbers so high, Slocum thought: "There has to be a better way to help these kids."
Slocum created Autism Anchor, an app that connects parents and professionals in real time, so that the different specialists in a child's "team" can come together, share information and even converse, in an online setting. It also connects parents of kids with similar "autism spectrum levels" for daily support.
“I decided to create this profile for your child," says Slocum. “I want to help the caregivers in the trenches because I know what it’s like.” The goal: to create a "hyper-local" resource for parents that is 100% free. The expense of raising a child with autism can be extraordinarily challenging.
For the next two months, Slocum is on a fundraising mission, trying to raise money to get her idea off the ground. Then, she hopes to launch Autism Anchor in mid-June.