For the final project of Design Thinking Bootcamp, we were challenged to design a solution to the 30 million word gap. Although language development plays a pivotal role in determining how ready children are to get the most out of kindergarten, we chose to reframe the challenge. Our group was inspired by Alex, a four-year-old child with Autism Spectrum Disorder who struggled to engage his peers in social behavior.
When we first met Alex, we were stunned to learn he was threatened with expulsion from preschool for pinching other kids. For him, the school readiness gap was a social skills challenge, not a language challenge. To help Alex, we designed MuppetMe a customizable ebook that teach children about positive social interactions. The book is customized with a child's face, name, and target behavior.