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Parent PAL App Tracks Development of Children with Special Needs

  • Published: 2016-04-05 : Children's Specialized Hospital (childrens-specialized.org).
  • Synopsis: Parent PAL a Progress Activity Log is a unique app for parents of children with complex health needs.

Main Document

Quote: "The Parent PAL is a great tool. Tracking my daughter's tantrums and behavior is so simple and quick. I love it!"

Children's Specialized Hospital has created a unique app for parents of children with complex health needs called the "Parent PAL, a Progress Activity Log."

The Parent PAL app makes tracking a child's unique developmental journey a little easier to manage. Between visits to the physician or therapist, a parent or caregiver can track the child's speech and feeding progress, gauge behavior and independence and gather other helpful information for the child's medical care team. Free download now for iPhone in the App Store.

Current trackers for child development are designed for a typical child and usually for children under three years of age; not a child with complex health needs like autism, or developmental delays. The team at Children's Specialized Hospital saw a need and created a custom app that will help the parents and caregivers of children with complex medical needs come prepared to each doctor's appointment or therapy session armed with valuable information to help their child and medical care team create the best possible treatment plan and outcome.

With a committee of parents and caregivers, therapists and physicians; Children's Specialized Hospital created the app to track the following areas: sleep, pain, words, independence, behavior, feeding and activity.

Depending on the area being tracked, the person using the app can enter a text field for custom entry, select a scale between 1 and 5 or choose a numeric value. For example a person might enter a level 4 out of 5 for pain. Another entry might be the child ate 3 bananas. Each entry is added and able to be viewed by a chart, weekly or monthly so trends can be easily found and shared with the care team.

App users can enter profiles for more than one child and can easily access hospital resources through the side navigation panel. Resources include a physician search; custom Google Map enabled directions to any of the hospital's 13 locations; link to the My Children's Specialized Patient and Family Portal and ways to get involved with the hospital such as volunteering or upcoming events.

The app is available in the App Store and already has had rave reviews:

"The Parent PAL is a great tool. Tracking my daughter's tantrums and behavior is so simple and quick. I love it!"

"When we have a doctor's appointment I have all this information available in my phone and that is very convenient to easily show to my doctor. Using the pain tracking feature I can generate a chart and compare his pain levels week by week or month by month when needed."

"This app has been a life saver when my therapist asked me to track how my daughter would react to certain foods. I couldn't keep track of pieces of paper – it was so easy to just pull out my phone and add in what she ate and if she liked it."

Android App:

The Parent PAL app is currently in development for android users and should be available soon.

Children's Specialized Hospital is the nation's leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children from birth to 21 years of age facing special health challenges - from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health.

At thirteen different New Jersey locations, our pediatric specialists partner with families to make our many innovative therapies and medical treatments more personalized and effective so children can achieve more of their goals.

To help, or find more information: call 888-CHILDRENS; visit www.childrens-specialized.org

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