As parents we are ultimately responsible for the health and wellness of our children. If we have a child with a neurodiverse condition like ADHD or ASD (Autism), or a mental health condition, ensuring that our child receives the appropriate care becomes an even more daunting responsibility.
There are a two key factors that make the ongoing management of care overwhelming for parents:
1. Parents are responsible for coordinating care provided by different clinicians — from paediatricians and psychiatrists to various therapists — as these providers typically focus on their clinical area, and don’t necessarily communicate and work closely with other care providers of the child. It then falls on us to bridge the communication and information gaps between them. This unintegrated approach can severely affect your child, e.g. when clashing medication is being prescribed.
2. We become the main source of information about our child's behaviour and symptoms to care providers, and this is difficult to do in an objective manner, especially given that these sessions with care providers might only happen every 6 months or a year. This can actually lead to misdiagnosis of your child.
The reality is that there is a team of people around a child that all need to be involved in the child's care, including parents, teachers and various health care providers.
Now imagine there is a tool that allows this team to share the intended care plan, observations on behaviour and other concerns, adherence, assessments, etc. Helping them to work better together to support the child's health and wellness.
This is exactly what Tracto aims to achieve. It puts us as parents in the driving seat, allowing us to setup a care plan for our child in the form of medication and activities schedule, add team members, and then collaboratively track adherence as well as particular concerns, e.g. sleep, concentration, or anxiety, that are important to us.
We can choose who can join the team in what capacity, determining what visibility they have on data.
We can also share a care progress report to health care providers (via email, whatsapp, or even by printing it out), ensuring that they are all on the same page, and have the same relevant information available. Thus improving communication and sharing of information within this team.
Your care providers do not have to use the Tracto app directly at all; the shared report is sufficient for their needs.
An important part of the care plan for a child is to actually adhere to the care plan. However, this can be difficult. Life happens. We oversleep, and are late for school and forget about medication. Or we struggle to get into the habit of following a daily physical activity we should be doing with our child at home. Another difficulty is when care plans change, perhaps a new medication or activity gets added, or dosage change.
Increased adherence has a massive impact on our children's health and wellness, and Tracto makes that easier for us to achieve.
Many times a nudge to remind us is all we need to stay on track, and Tracto does that in a simple and efficient way. Reminding the relevant people in the care team about medication, activities, and assessments, thus making it easier to stick to the care plan and make it a habit.
Improved Care Decisions
One of my big pains is sitting at a clinician and having to think back for months about specific behavioural or symptomatic concerns of my child. "How was his sleep over the last year?"
It is just not possible to do this objectively.
By tracking concerns via Tracto, we are able to give more objective input at the time of observation, and doing this over a period of time gives us, and the clinicians we share it to, very good historic information.
Even just logging these concerns once a week or every two weeks already gives us much better information to base decisions on.
Better information leads to better care decisions for our children's care.
Access to affordable care
It is at times difficult to get hold of care providers; it might either take very long to get an appointment (potentially compromising my child’s academic year), or it might be expensive, and not covered by my health insurance.
One of the first steps towards managing care for your child is to understand their condition and impact, and how to understand and manage this as a parent. Tracto partnered with leading health and wellness experts and created affordable online courses for parents to help us as parents on this journey.
These online courses provide valuable information and training to parents, which was traditionally only available by making an appointment with a care provider.
From stigmatized to thriving
Some neurodiverse and mental health conditions unfortunately carry a lot of stigma associated with it. Stigma is countered by having access to better information and effectively managing the care of our children.
Via Tracto, information is more easily shared to others in the team, like teachers; thus making them part of the team around the child and in this way helping address stigma and potential difficulties at school.
A little bit of effort now in setting up a care plan in Tracto and using it to track adherence and concerns, will greatly benefit our children later — and ultimately help them thrive.