UPDATE: Since the original review in late August 2018, Emmett has continued to use Mightier, not as much as I’d like but he’s absolutely benefiting from it. In fact, we’re going to begin using the program with Gavin because he’s been having more frequent outbursts lately and he will benefit from this as well. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Also, there has been some pricing changes. Mightier has dropped the price and added a FREE 30-day trial, so you can see for yourself how well this program works. Click here to skip to the new pricing information. PLEASE feel free to ask me any questions about our experience with this program. 🙂
You can purchase Mightier by clicking here.
There are times where I’m really excited to share a product with my readers because it has the potential to make a big difference in their lives.
This is one such time.
I’ve been approached by companies before, claiming they had the next big thing that will change the lives of Autism families. With few exceptions, they almost always fail to deliver.
For about the last month or so, I’ve been working with a program called Mightier by Neuromotion Labs. They reached out to me a while back and wanted to know if I would be interested in trying out their program that helps kids learn to manage their emotions. It’s not solely for kids with Autism either. According to Mightier, pretty much any child or adult can benefit from this program.
I went into this a skeptic because I wasn’t sure how a tablet app and heart rate monitor could help a child with Autism learn to better manage their emotional states.
Before I go any further, let me explain what Mightier is and how it works.
What is Mightier and How Does it Work
Mightier was developed and tested at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School to give kids a safe place to practice emotional regulation, develop coping skills, and build emotional muscle memory they need to help respond to life’s challenges.
Each Mightier starter kit comes with a Mighty Band heart rate monitor, Mightier app, and library of games (available on both iPhone and Android), 30-min coaching sessions with a licensed clinician (the number of sessions depends on the package you choose), an online hub to track your child’s process and access to a private community of Mightier parents.
As part of the Mightier experience, families are matched with a Masters level clinician. Each Mightier purchases comes with six 30-minute coaching sessions. The clinicians help set expectations for success and develop strategies to help apply skills learned in the games to the specific challenges their child faces in everyday life.
The Mightier works with popular video game developers to create an extensive library for kid players with different interests and skill levels. The Mightier component is added to existing fan favorite games.
It’s recommended that kids play just 45 minutes a week. There are no particular requirements in regards to scheduling these sessions. Whatever works best your family is fine.
The games are actually really good and lots of fun. Your child wears the Mightier band while playing the game. The band essentially controls the difficulty setting of the game. If your child begins to get frustrated, and their heart rate goes into the red, their game is impacted and becomes more difficult to play. The gameplay returns to normal when the child calms down and reduces their heart rate.
Over time, your child begins to associate positive things with managing their emotions in a more productive, healthy way.
I’ll break this down into its simplest form.
It’s biofeedback for kids.
Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will. Wikipedia
What this does is help your child to recognize when they are getting upset, frustrated, angry or overwhelmed. They can see their heart rate go up and down in response to their emotions. This is done in a way that makes sense to kids because it impacts their ability to play the game. They learn there’s an obvious benefit to managing their emotions in the present and not just in more abstract ways that are harder for kids to understand.
They are then shown basic ways that they can slow their heart rate down and get themselves calm or relaxed. As they practice these skills, the heart rate drops back into the blue and they are rewarded by their game returning to normal.
In other words. Mightier helps kids to become more self-aware. They learn to recognize the signs that they are getting upset and then do things to calm themselves down. They recognize the immediate impact on their game but eventually apply these same skills to everyday life.
As your child progresses through the games, they earn acorns which are the in-game currency. Acorns allow your child to unlock more games and continue to advance.
New games are introduced on a regular basis the whole thing is very simple to navigate. The current library has 15 games, including two recipients of the Apple Editors Choice award and two games with more than a million downloads.