Brain in hand - personal technology for independant living

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Since an early age, Jay has been passionate about the welfare of dogs. He runs a successful business providing force-free walking, training and behaviour service for dogs. He has studied various courses including animal training, animal behaviour and welfare. He has recently completed a degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and is currently completing remotely a top-up BSc in Canine Behaviour at Bishop Burton College.

Jay has autism and experiences heightened anxiety. When this happens, Jay is unable to focus, everything gets too much for him and he starts noticeable repetitive behaviours. This can make Jay extremely tired and finds it hard to complete his university work to the standard he is capable of. However since Jay has been using Brain in Hand, when feeling anxious Jay is able to access his own coping strategies, that he knows will calm him, from an app on his phone.

For example, Jay can get very anxious when he receives lots of email, it can make him feel overloaded. But with Brain in Hand, he can quickly access advice, such as remembering to do his breathing or mindfulness exercises, which enables him to filter everything out, quickly reducing his anxiety and helping him to return his focus on his academic work.

Jay also finds examinations very stressful and so his college have been very supportive and allow Jay to take his Brain in Hand into examinations, to ensure he can stay on track and his exam work can reflect his capabilities.

Coping strategies also help Jay in social situations, such as group work or speaking with someone for the first time, where he can sometimes say something inappropriate. Now, should this happen, Jay can discretely check his phone, and see reminders of what to say and do.

With lots of coursework and deadlines, Jay also finds time management hard. Brain in Hand has helped Jay, as he uses the calendar and reminders to keep on track. He finds they provide an easy visual guide.

Jay also uses the anxiety monitor. He likes the fact that the National Autistic Society (NAS) team can see how he is feeling at any time. When he feels overloaded or there are changes to his routine and his coping strategies aren’t working, he also presses the red button to alert the NAS team. They have been there, working with him step by step until his anxieties have stopped.

Brain in Hand has made a big difference. It has helped Jay to achieve a 2:1 degree and get on track with his distance learning. He plans to continue using Brain in Hand to ensure he completes his BSc in Canine Behaviour. This will make a huge difference to Jay, his customers and the many dogs he will help over his canine career.

When asked about Brain in Hand, Jay says “I would highly recommend Brain in Hand to anybody with anxiety and over-reactive sensory issues, that makes focusing and energy levels low.”

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Our Users

  • Brain in Hand has helped me to solve all sorts of problems by myself, which has really built my confidence. For example, I have an issue with eye contact when I talk with friends. To solve this, I plan in advance what I can say to a person, which is something I put into my Brain in Hand.

    Brain in Hand user

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  • I wish that there had been something like this when I was a headteacher of a challenging school for those individuals who were either autistic or suffered from anxiety. It would have added another level of support.

    Parent of a Brain in Hand user

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  • “We can use Brain in Hand to help people to achieve those outcomes and use the data from the system to demonstrate this: You put the same things into Brain in Hand that are being measured by the council.”

    Brain in Hand user

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