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Mightier- The Emotional Regulation Tool Making Waves in the Autism Community : Helping Children with Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and those who Struggle with Self Regulation

Having three children on the autism spectrum, I understand the struggles of emotional regulation all to well.  Each of my children struggle greatly, with our youngest daughter having the hardest time.  She has learned countless tools, but never can seem to apply them in the moment.   When the folks at Mightier reached out to me to invite me to check out their state-of-the-art program for emotional regulation, I was sold before they told me much at all! Seriously though, Mightier is a system of Bioresponsive games to help kids learn self-regulation.  Plus, my kids actually ask to play it!

Our Starting Place is Not an Easy to Fix

To give you a full idea of where we started, Lilly has autism, adhd, sleep apnea, and a few other diagnoses under her belt.  She is the sweetest, most loving child that truly never wants to hurt anyone’s feelings.  That being said, she has daily meltdown lasting from fifteen minutes to over an hour.  A large majority of these meltdowns occur from her lack of self-regulation skills and being able to apply any skills in the moment.

We have been working with therapists, counselors, psychiatrists as well as a amazing staff at her school to work through this and NOTHING has worked yet. It is absolutely horrible to watch your child struggle like that and its even harder for her to deal with. She is exhausted from it and does want help fixing it.

When Mightier first reached out to me, I asked Lilly if she would like to give it a try.  She said yes, so I was more than on board.   Prior to getting the system delivered in the mail, we had an appointment with her psychiatrist already scheduled. I used this time to talk about her IEP, the upcoming school year, and Mightier.  Her psychiatrist was just as excited as she was and couldn’t wait to hear the feedback.

Mightier- The Emotional Regulation Tool Making Waves in the Autism Community : Helping Children with Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and those whow Struggle with Self Regulation

Getting Started with The Mightier Foundation Kit

After the first week of using Mightier, I caught Lilly on several occasions deep breathing when she was starting to get upset!!  It was the very first time I have ever seen her use the deep breathing technique in the moment, and by her own choice!  Every autism parent understands how huge that moment is.  If you don’t understand that moment, it basically the same feeling when your child walks or says mama for the first time.  IT IS HUGE!

By week three, she was asking for it several days through the week and played 109 minutes on it!  The minimum suggested play is 45 minutes a week (15 minute sessions).  So her choosing that much is awesome!  This is truly the most amazing app, technique, tool, or anything that we have ever used for any of our three autistic children. 

I can honestly thanking God that he had the paths of those at Mightier cross with ours.  It has been a true, solid answer to a heart felt prayer of ours.  It has brought Lilly so much more peace, and she is still growing and learning with Mightier.

So enough about our story, let’s break down the facts about Mightier for you!

The Emotional Regulation Tool Making Waves in the Autism Community

mightier bioresponsive games for autism

Mightier Bioresponsive games help kids 6-14 build skills to better manage their emotions (though it can benefit even adults!) Kids wear a Mighty Band heart rate monitor to see their emotions come to life on the screen. Games get more difficult as heart rate rises, challenging kids to learn to calm down and build self-control on their own.

With Mightier, you will talk regularly with your dedicated clinical coach to set realistic goals, track progress, and develop strategies to help your child apply skills learned in the games to their specific challenges in life. Work with your coach to craft a 45 minute per week routine that helps your child build valuable self-regulation habits. Tap into our parent community to learn, connect, and share along the way.

The Science behind Mightier Bioresponsive Games for Self-regulation

Mightier Bioresponsive Games were developed and tested at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  Mightier believes every kid can learn emotional control and that kids learn best through play. 

At Boston Children’s hospital, they watched kids struggle with stress and emotional control every day. In 2008 they assembled a team of experts in psychiatry, neurology, and child development to create a new, scientifically proven tool designed specifically for kids and their families. 

What they learned was that most interventions fail kids because kids do not want them (man can I speak for that one!). Kids respond to emotions differently than adults do. They can feel big emotions and act out in unfamiliar ways. When building Mightier, they realized it had to be fun and meet kids on their level.

Over 8 years of building Mightier Bioresponsive games, they realized that video games are the perfect tool to help kids grapple with emotional control.  Kids love video games and games mimic life.  You try, fail, then try again.

Emotional strength empowers kids to succeed in life. Mightier Bioresponsive Games’ mission is to help millions of kids discover their emotional strength. They provide families a proven tool they can use in their home. They keep kids engaged with new games and content every month.

Back to the Fun part of Mightier Bioresponsive Games:

When we got The Mightier Foundation kit (first 3 months of the program), I was pretty impressed with what came with it.  To start, there is the Mighty Band heart rate monitor.  It comes with two different size bands, that are so comfy!  You can wear them on your arm or even your leg if you want.   There is the charger which is a USB cable.  I liked being able to plug it right into my laptop to charge so I knew where it was all the time!

Then there was the getting started guide that made it a breeze to understand.  There was also a welcome booklet that broke down everything for the parents.  The biggest thing was that it broke down the “Mightier Lingo.”  Terms that are used throughout the game, so you’re not confused when your kiddo talks about it. 

In the app, there is a mightier meter that shows on all screens (even during the game) so your child can see where their heart rate is.  If they get into the red zone, these little characters called Lavalings come from all sides of the screen.  The only way to get rid of them is to get back in the grey (cooling down).  During each mission (games) the kids earn acorns.  These acorns are what they can use to purchase new games.  

Mightier Bioresponsive Games, The Parents side of things

mightier bioresponsive games for autism

When you set up your mightier Bioresponsive games, you will create an account online for you to track your child’s progress.  But there is so much more than that!  You get access to an exclusive parent community, 4 sessions with a Clinical Coach to talk about goals and progress, weekly tips for engaging your child, and even weekly article suggestions for you to read.  They leave no stone unturned!

Oh, and you can totally set up your own account too to play the games.   I did, and I was amazed at how much difference seeing your heart rate going down with breathing makes a difference.  As adults, we understand that is what happens, but man seeing is believing!

How do I get Mightier Bioresponsive Games for Autism, ADHD, and those who struggle with self-regulation

mightier bioresponsive games for autism

To get your Mightier Foundation kit, just head right over to their website.  If you have any questions, they also have live chat from 8am-10pm EST Monday- Friday.   If you get on there and it’s not those time frames (like when I’m online at 2am because the kids woke me up 10 times already) you can put your question in the box and they will answer you when they get back on.  Now that’s just awesome.  They are really there to support you and your family to help your child grow!

Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families.  She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the "Amazing Moms" coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho.  She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.

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