Streaming TV for Neurodiverse Children

New service meets the needs of this unique population.


Inclusive, Health

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A change is taking place in the television streaming industry, opening up new opportunities for autism-affected children to receive support and enrichment. Poppins is an innovative Netflix-like streaming service designed to match the needs and habits of those diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a condition that affects the development of the brain, according to the CDC. It leads to various challenges in social communication and interaction, as well as restricted or repetitive behaviors and interests. Individuals with ASD may also exhibit unique patterns of learning, movement, or attention.

“It all started with my nephew when he was 15,” explained Media & Technology entrepreneur Gilad Piker, in a candid message on the Poppins website. “He was diagnosed as Autistic at the age of 5.” Piker noticed that his nephew watched cartoons and simple kids’ videos for hours, but what engaged him even more were the opening logos and rolling credits at the end of a show.

“One day I noticed a pattern. Any time he saw the rolling credits at the end of a show, he would stand in front of the screen, fully absorbed as if it was the most fascinating film he’d ever seen!” Piker added.

The benefits of watching TV
Curated television and video can be a boon for autistic children, according to Verywell HealthMany autistic children are visual learners, meaning they grasp information better through visual cues. TV shows and videos can provide visual stimulation, presenting information in a format that can be more easily understood and absorbed.

Certain TV shows and videos can offer opportunities for autistic children to observe and learn social skills, such as turn-taking, sharing, and appropriate behavior in various situations. This can be particularly helpful for those who struggle with social communication and interaction.

TV shows and videos can serve as tools for emotional regulation. Autistic children may find comfort and relaxation in familiar or soothing videos, which can help them manage and cope with overwhelming emotions or sensory input.

Some TV programs and videos are specifically designed to enhance language skills. They can expose autistic children to new words, sentence structures, and storytelling, supporting their language development and communication abilities.

It's important to note that moderation, appropriate content selection, and parental supervision are essential when incorporating TV and videos into an autistic child's routine, reminds Very Well Health. Each child is unique, so it's crucial to consider individual needs, preferences, and sensitivities when determining the potential benefits of screen time.

What makes Poppins ASD special?
As already noted, neurodiverse children have a hard time with sensory processing. Poppins caters to those nuances by providing a unique video accessibility interface in its streaming service.

“We want to create a special video solution for special children, providing relevant, age-appropriate content, and accommodating their visual preferences,” Piker told NoCamels.

The service mixes special content with a distinctive user experience, as illustrated in a video on the website. For example, a color adjustment allows a child to filter out specific colors that make them feel uncomfortable, while a cartoon and line filter can turn a video into a cartoon. The integrated AI also allows for the use of a spotlight that highlights one part of the screen at a time, and a billboard feature that frames the video as if it is screening on a smaller screen inside the TV.

Poppins is gearing up to spread its message to a wide audience. Piker recently presented Poppins at the Zero Project Conference, the annual conference that spotlights inclusive solutions from around the world.

“It was a privilege to share my vision for this innovative platform with a diverse and engaged community of disability rights advocates, policymakers, and practitioners from across the globe,” Piker wrote in a LinkedIn post.

“Through Poppins, children with autism can now access educational and entertainment content that's tailored to their specific needs, preferences, and interests,” he continued. “Witnessing the positive impact this platform has on children with autism was a humbling experience, reminding me of the power of technology to transform lives.”

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