When a request for more emoticons in the next update of the emotionary app came in to Melbourne-based Creator, Sarah Hatherley, she was surprised to discover the user was autistic. The amazing thing for Hatherley was that this person, halfway around the world, had found the app, and was using it in just the way she had hoped it would be used – to help navigate life more joyfully.
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are usually associated with delayed emotional maturity, limited vocabulary to describe emotions and emotional management issues, often anger. So Sarah was surprised to read this review posted on the US iTunes App Store:
I am autistic and emotions are difficult for me to articulate in the moment. This app helps me change “I’m angry” to “actually, I’m more frustrated and worried.
The granularity of emotion definition helps me identify and label the different emotions experienced in a moment rather than just being overwhelmed and shutting down.
This also helps me understand and choose the correct steps to resolve the problem (in the case of negative emotions) or identify behavior to continue (for positive emotions.)
I love using the [electronic] cards with the emoticons…I like how the cards are colorcoded, too.
It’s easy to say “I am having too many green emotions” or “today is an orange day.”
It’s a lot easier for me to have a conversation about solutions to what is bothering me when I am able to break the emotional storm into its individual parts and understand how they are working together.
These cards in this app make my life easier.
Subsequently the app has been embraced by ASD expert, Professor Attwood. As a world-leading authority on Asperger’s syndrome, he believes the emotionary app has “value for those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder from Asperger’s syndrome to even severe autism.”
The updated free app, with over 100 emoticons – including 30+ new ones – is now available from the iTunes App Store.