‘The Child Whisperer’ is a parenting mobile app that targets parents and caregivers of primary school-going children (aged 7-12 years old) who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
In this game, the parent/caregiver is the player and they are presented with scenarios that reflect typical struggles Singaporean parents face in managing their school-going children. They will navigate these scenarios through learning and applying core behaviour management principles. Players do not need to have any prior knowledge or skills to start playing the game. With every scenario encountered, players will be given feedback based on their chosen response, thereby enabling active learning and assimilation of knowledge to take place as they learn to make more appropriate parenting decisions. A summary is given after completing a scenario, with 80% mastery needed to proceed. Players can replay scenarios to improve on their responses. A reward system is incorporated within the app to sustain player motivation. Additionally, a pre- and post-test will be incorporated into the game play to evaluate the players’ learning through ‘The Child Whisperer’.
Parent training is an evidence-based component in the treatment of children with ADHD. It is also a time-intensive endeavour which many parents in Singapore are unable to commit. By leveraging on technology, the team at NBC-ADHD hopes that parents/caregivers can obtain information on ADHD as well as learn parenting skills that are required in the management of children with ADHD, at their own pace and convenience.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
The mobile application presents users with scenarios that reflect the struggles Singaporean parents face in managing their school-going children in a typical week. Players are required to complete an incorporated pre- and post- test and then accomplish tasks designed to mimic chores and stressors in their daily life and adapt to changes in routines and exigencies. The responses have direct effects on the child’s reaction and will affect the player’s performance on each of the 3 parameters – Negativity, Messiness and Tiredness. Players can replay scenarios to improve on their responses.
A summary is given after completing a scenario. 80% mastery is needed in order to proceed. There is also a reward system to build motivation. For example, players can get chicken essence and helper potions to help with housework or buy household appliances (Not yet developed).
- Parents develop understanding of ADHD and learn behavioural management strategies such as:
- Basics of Behaviour Modification
- Setting Expectations
- Organizational Skills
- Parents acquire effective parenting skills to build a more fulfilling relationship with child.
This mobile application will be potentially invaluable to parents of children aged 7-12 years old who are diagnosed with ADHD. This concept allows for flexibility to cater for other profiles and condition with changes to the scenarios. This allows for more modules to be added on at the later phase of development.
There are also potentials for tie-ups with other shopping industry partners to earn tangible rewards (e.g. enter code to enjoy discounts on online sites, receive in-app vouchers to use for in-store purchases, etc).
In 2015 Serious Games Challenge, the judges were impressed by the novelty, far-reaching arm of the app as well as the usefulness of the concept as it provides ease of use on the go. Following the competition, we were invited to further develop our concept into a prototype.
There is a lack of application games for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) meant for parents to practice and apply their knowledge on managing their children who suffer from this disorder. Most available games in this field are meant for children. Parent training is paramount in the treatment of children with ADHD but parents in Singapore have difficulties in committing to this time-intensive endeavor.
The Child Whisperer (TCW) seeks to translate ‘theory-to-practice’ by helping parents assimilate and incorporate the knowledge they have learnt in their gameplay. TCW is conceptualized to be convenient so that busy parents can learn skills on the go and at their own pace. At the same time, it is cost-effective with the possibility of having multiple caregivers accessing the app simultaneously. TCW serves as a psycho-educational tool to help parents develop an understanding of the core symptoms of ADHD and learn behavioural management strategies. Through the understanding of ADHD, acquisition of effective parenting skills and application of behavioural management strategies, TCW can help parents build a more fulfilling relationship with the child.