Children’s Specialized Hospital Creates First Lifestyle and Resources App for Children with Autism

April 26, 2016

autism children's specialized hospital healthier me app kohl'sChildren’s Specialized Hospital is proud to announce the launch of Healthier Me - the first and only mobile app which promotes health, nutrition, fitness, and safety for children and teens with autism.  Created by the Kohl’s Autism Awareness Program at Children’s Specialized Hospital, this free iOS app available in the Apple store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/healthier-me-by-childrens/id1082450722?mt=8) includes categories for children/teens with autism to track their own daily personal care, healthy eating, fitness and safety as well as access to important Kohl’s Autism Awareness and other autism resources.  This useful tool helps a child reach reward milestones through positive actions and reinforcement – establishing good hygiene habits, healthy eating, watching out for food allergies, keeping active, and staying safe.  

Children’s Specialized Hospital, the largest regional provider of services for children with autism spectrum disorder from birth through 21 years of age, is dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with autism and their families by providing comprehensive evaluations, treatment, community education, recreation, and research.  The creation of this app is an innovative solution to what hospital experts have seen as an unmet need – helping children/teens with autism learn and practice safe and healthy activities as a regular part of their lives.   

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is fifty percent more common in individuals ages 12 to 17 with developmental disabilities, like autism, as compared to typically-developing adolescents. The National Autism Association asserts more than one third of children with autism who wander or elope have significant challenges communicating their name, address, or phone number.  The app encourages users to eat healthy food, take care of their bodies, and be active. It also teaches about knowing their address and phone number, telling others where they are going, and what to do if they are lost.

Adrienne Robertiello, Children’s Specialized Hospital autism educator stresses, “Many children and adolescents with autism need extra information, reminders, and reinforcement to practice a healthy and active lifestyle. This app enables them to have a useful, educational tool in the palm of their hands.  Parents, educators, and therapists can engage children to promote good health, nutrition, fitness, and safety.” 

This innovative tool would not have been possible without the generous support of Kohl’s Cares.  Since 2000, Kohl’s has donated more than $5.4 million to Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation. Kohl’s commitment to Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys, with 100 percent of net profit benefiting children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl’s has raised more nearly $300 million through this merchandise program. For more information, visit www.Kohls.com/Cares.

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; Facebook: www.facebook.com/childrensspecialized; Twitter: www.twitter.com/childrensspecnj; YouTube: www.youtube.com/cshnj; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/children's-specialized-hospital