The Hawkins Family

Locally Pioneered THRIVE App to Help Autistic Children and Their Families

In April 2021, Buzz by Melissa Howsam1 Comment

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“I am different. Not less.” Such is one of the many messages autism organizations hope to spread this April via the monthlong national and global dedication to improving quality of life and increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

Propelling that cause—and accessibility into the tech age—is mother on a mission Tracey Hawkins and her upcoming app THRIVE. Determined there must be an achievable way to ease the struggle for children with autism and their parents, Hawkins dreamed up the app as a response to her own overwhelm after the second of her three children was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

“I wanted to match my own children’s needs with technologies that already exist,” says Hawkins of her motivation. The sole brainchild of Hawkins, the app was devised in collab with a team of autism experts and software developers to deliver cutting-edge, invaluable and unparalleled features—including a self-regulation feature, visual schedule and more.

And that same “appy” aha moment also led to her Durham-based tech startup, Thriving on the Spectrum, with an MO of giving children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents “the ability to thrive in any environment,” she says.

“As a parent, my dreams for my children are no different than any other foundation-wise,” says Hawkins. “I want them to be happy and live fulfilling lives, with the ability to thrive in any environment.”

And now, one mother’s vision—and innovation—is providing families facing autism with a solution: to “THRIVE.”

Be on the lookout for a fall release.

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