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Mums create an online community to help parents of kids with special needs

Shared by sara.di.fabio@p... on 2020-05-29 12:04

About the solution

Gena Mann felt a great sense of isolation when her two sons were diagnosed with autism. “My kids were in therapy all day and my life was so different from the other moms I knew,” she said. When Carissa Tozzi, Gena’s friend, proposed to Gena the idea to create an online community for parents of children with special needs, wolfandfriends.com was born.

The mums, with previous experience in fashion and publishing, wanted to include in their website a stylishly presented list of products, curated with input from experts in the field, for kids with special needs like adaptive clothing, sensory regulation toys, and books to combat anxiety.

In 2016, the two mums, Gena and Carissa, launched wolfandfriends.com, and in 2018, the app along with the website and a newsletter reached about 40,000 in the special needs community. “I wanted to create a space that was a little bit more welcoming, more modern, more inspiring,” she says. “Something that would make shopping for them a more pleasant experience,” Carissa said.

However, the mums realised that parents needed more than a shopping list. “We realized that the most important thing to offer them is an opportunity to see that there were other moms like them that they can connect with nearby,” Carissa says.

Through the app, parents can share their location and by identifying their child’s unique special needs, they can connect with nearby people who have similar stories. Carissa and Gena created a space on the app, where the relationships can grow.

The mums are taking into account the risks associated with sharing personal information on the app. We have been and will continue to be extremely careful about anyone we choose as an advertiser,” Gena said. “We’re not taking on advertisers selling alternative therapies or things that are untested. We never would want to prey on this community of moms.”

“Now it feels so good to be able to reach those moms who were like I was back then and say, ‘You’re not alone, and we’re going to help you find friends,” Gena said.

Adapted from: https://people.com/parents/wolf-and-friends-app-special-needs-kids-exclu...
More information: https://www.wolfandfriends.com/about

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Gena Mann, 1974, and Carissa Tozzi, 1972, are two mums from the USA. Gena’s son was diagnosed with autism whereas Carissa’s son had trouble calming while in preschool. Based on their experiences they created Wolf + Friends, a website, an app and a newsletter, to help other parents of kids with special needs. Wolf + Friends helps parents to find toys or other products adapted to their children and provides an opportunity to connect with people with similar stories. The website was launched in 2016 and the app was launched in 2018.

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