27 Lubi, comfort companion
How many of us have felt anxious in these situations? The traffic jam is unbearable, the line at the grocery store won’t move, or the child next to us in the airplane won’t stop crying. We all have different ways of coping with these circumstances, either we think of something else, focus on our breathing or just tell ourselves it will be over soon. All of these are ways of self-regulating, but what happens to those who are unable to handle these crises? What would happen if any of us felt completely lost and exasperated in these situations? This is how children with autism feel.
Autism is a disorder that affects 1 in every 88 children, and even though each case is unique, there are three main areas that are affected: social interactions, communicational skills, and sensorial processing. Although most of what has already been developed has focused on learning abilities and cognitive development, meltdowns are one of the most severe issues these children go through. Therefore, designing a product in this area would be highly relevant.
This is how Lubi was born; a toy that has been designed based on the needs detected throughout the research, is soft to the touch and includes different textures that may aid relaxation. When children need to calm their anxiety, they can press Lubi’s tummy to listen to music they enjoy and play calming sounds, which can be recorded with an APP. On the other hand, Lubi comes with a built-in light which can be turned on and off, following a relaxing rhythm.