TARGETING CHILDREN'S With special education needs: ADHD, AUTISM and ANxIETY

OliTool was initially developed as a tool for adults and initially trialled with University students.  Over time, it became clear that the stigma-free playful nature of Oli made it perfect for helping children with certain behavioural or learning challenges, including those with ADHD, ASD and anxiety issues. We believe that OliTool can help children stay calm and focused, communicate their feelings and learn to manage their behaviour. Based on small user testing trials, we have also learned how OliTool can help teachers implement instructions from educational psychologists, occupational therapists and others working with children in the classroom, without costing them additional time and while encouraging independence and self confidence in the children.

UK schools are required to support children with special education needs (SEN) reach personal and educational attainment goals. This presents schools with huge resource challenges. SEN government data reveals that 1) SEN pupil numbers are increasing while budgets are decreasing; 2) Emotional, behavioural and mental health issues impact are significantly more prevelant in children with special needs; 3) SEN pupils represent 47% of permanent exclusions from school; and 4) There is a need for evidence based tools to support SEN and for data analytics, resource justification and programme evaluation.

The Government has also recognised that child mental health is in crisis. With 1 in 8 children in the UK suffering from a diagnosable mental health condition and 1 in 4 either anxious or depressed, there is a critical need to address children’s mental wellbeing.


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Olitool for Special Education Needs

Drawing on academic and clinical research as well as extensive participatory design we are currently adapting OliTool as a resource for special needs children and their teachers, parents and professional support network. Focusing initially on ADHD, ASD and anxiety, the system will be child-friendly and appropriate for classroom and home use. The main interface for the child will be the haptic tangible interface Oli, with interaction with the app occurring with the relevant adults.


With the education sector integral to OliTool’s offering for children, we were delighted to be awarded a place in the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) programme, EDUCATE.  EDUCATE connects Ed Tech entrepreneurs, practitioners and researchers and uses research to inspire the development of high-quality learning products and services. With a grounding in school based research, participation in EDUCATE has enabled Ogenblik to develop OliTool for children as an EdTech product, widening market opportunities.


Ogenblik is reaching out to the education community to ensure a participatory design structure to OliToo’s development in this sector. We have extensively surveyed teachers, SENCo and other experts about the current offering for children with special behavioural and emotional needs as well as gaps and needs. The unique combination of OliTool’s playful handheld tangible interface combined with its ability to offer real-time communication fills a gap and need in this market.

Further investigation, co-design and validation will be undertaken during the fall of 2019 with workshops, trials and case studies in several UK primary and secondary schools.


Ogenblik was pleased to develop a strong dialogue with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust regarding the redesign of OliTool for all children. The Tavistock, a leader in promoting mental health and wellbeing for over 100 years, brings together a variety of approaches to children and family mental health. They are recognised as influencers in children’s mental health worldwide and have initiated programmes in the UK for bringing CAMHS services into school settings, the new model set forth in the Government’s Green Paper mandating improved children’s and adolescent mental health services.  The Tavistock was especially keen on OliTool’s playful non-screen based and personalised approach to its digital offering. We have also developed good working relationships with the UCL Institute of Education and experts there in special needs education as well as with teachers and SENCO in a variety of primary and secondary schools.