Using technology to improve quality of life for children with special needs
Adam Kern ’12 was working with autistic students as a behavioral therapist when he found himself frustrated with the lack of technological tools to help his clients.
“Every day I went to work, knowing that technology exists that could improve my clients and their family’s quality of life, but that technology hadn’t been applied to help them,” said Kern, who graduated from Clemson’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education with a degree in secondary education.
Out of this experience, Kern co-founded ExcepApps, a startup focused on creating technological tools to benefit children with special needs.
“In 2014, we have technology like the PS3 or the XBOX One, but our advances in technology aren’t being used to help the children who could benefit from it the most,” said Kern, who lives in Mauldin. “ExcepApps seeks to change that.”
ExcepApps released its first product, Color Countdown, in August. Color Countdown is a simple tool that works by representing time through colors, shapes and numbers, Kern said. He and his business partner, Ryan Poplin, designed the product to help individuals with transitions, task behavior and time management.
“Color Countdown is a tool that I wished existed while I was a therapist,” Kern said. “It can be used in a classroom when completing time sensitive assignments, in a therapy session or during every day tasks.”
ExcepApps’ second product — a communication tool designed to allow parents, teachers and therapists to track a child’s language development as they learn to speak — launched in November. ExcepApps created the tool for non-vocal children who already rely on technology to communicate, Kern said.