Who Is CalmConnect For?
Who Is CalmConnect For?
The people using CalmConnect range in age from three to one hundred and three, with varying challenges to their nervous system; anxiety/depression, autism, PTSD, ADHD, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, social isolation, etc.
CalmConnect is a non-pharmaceutical behavioral health program that uses a patented social engagement system to provide significant positive outcomes for all ages. The program is being used at home, at work, and in schools, clinical settings, assisted living/care facilities and hospitals, for individuals and groups of people.
In an ideal world, in a perfect classroom, twenty-five healthy children would arrive each morning after leaving their happy home with a good night’s sleep and a balanced breakfast. They would love their teacher and their friends in the classroom. They would be curious and excited to learn.
In the real world, in a real classroom, teachers must do much more than simply teach. We received this email from an early childhood teacher (pre-K) in a large urban area. “I have lots of different behaviors this year for a variety of reasons. I have students going through meth withdrawal, some are in behavioral therapy, as well as children rescued from living in human trafficking with their mother. Not what I started with in my career, never dreamed I would deal with this on a regular basis.”
In classrooms around the country there are students who are struggling. There are students who are just a step away from becoming dysregulated and those who are dysregulated, those who have very low energy and those of high energy, and students who are anxious, traumatized, or living with a variety of challenges. The inconceivable challenge for today’s teachers is to help all their students regulate their nervous system and brain functions in ways that allow them to focus and engage those cognitive processes needed to learn.
CalmConnect was created to:
- Meet the diverse regulatory needs of all students of all abilities in the classroom without singling out those individual, sensory and behaviorally challenged students in need of occupational or behavioral therapy.
- Require no training by teachers or specialists.
- Eliminate the need for special equipment or reconfiguration of the classroom.
- Feed the universal need of all children through social engagement and the resilience that develops from experiencing positive connections with others.
- Be easily used by parents at home as well as by occupational therapists and pediatricians in clinical and medical settings as a supportive intervention.
- Take no more than a few minutes to complete in consideration of the unbelievable demands on teacher’s time.
- Enhance children’s self-regulation/ behavioral organization, attention, expressive language and learning.
When we designed our program we envisioned a brand-new teacher, overwhelmed in a room bursting at the seams with more than thirty animated second graders, many behaviorally challenged, speaking a variety of languages, needing an intervention that could work immediately and effectively.
Today the program is being used successfully in thousands of schools around the world. Many of them use the program at the beginning of the day, after lunch or recess, or before testing or learning a new or difficult concept. Therapists use it individually and in groups. Parents find it particularly helpful to calm transition times most often before and after school, before homework and bedtime, before stressful appointments, and to avoid meltdowns.
A first-grade teacher in a neurotypical classroom in Maine shared her experience: My class LOVES CalmConnect! They ask for it if I forget. We’ve been using it when they first come in, and as they enter from recess. Instead of running in, they come in quickly and get started on CalmConnect. When it’s done, I keep my tone quiet and ask them to have a seat on the mat so we can start our lesson. Transition time heaven! I’ve had several teachers stop by and even join in (it’s hard not to). Our OT teachers come in and instead of pulling the kids right out, use that time as part of their OT with the children.
Parents find it especially helpful to calm children before transition times, most often before and after school, before doing homework or bedtime, and before stressful appointments. It has also proven immensely effective in preventing meltdowns – in many cases eliminating them entirely.
Wayzata Public Schools, 81% reduction in off-task behavior
Wayzata collected off-task behavior (not following directions, distracting behavior, talking out of turn, leaving seat, and being disengaged) from 25 classrooms (PreK – 4) in 4 different elementary schools. Using a “pre-post” methodology with one school as a control group, “post” data was collected on weeks 1, 3, 5 and 13. CalmConnect provided an 81% reduction in off-task behavior. (Lackner, 2018).
Saint Paul Public Schools, 59% reduction in off-task behavior
Saint Paul Public Schools measured CalmConnect’s efficacy in reducing off-task behavior during Spring 2017. ‘Prevent’ staff, school counselors, and school social workers observed students in 4 classrooms in 2 elementary schools (8 total) over a 5-week period. The classrooms included 3 E1 Montessori classrooms (grades 1-3), 3 first grade, 1 second grade, and 1 fifth grade classroom. (Heinrichs, 2017).
Alton School District, IL 71% reduction in off-task behavior
An Early Childhood Specialist conducted pre/post research with CalmConnect in her mixed pre/K classroom for a graduate study. Using CalmConnect approximately 4 minutes a day reduced off-task behavior by 71% (Radcliff, 2011).
NYC Public Schools, NYC 48 % reduction in off-task behavior
NYC Autism Specialists studied CalmConnect’s impact in the classroom during Summer Session 2017. CalmConnect was used in 4 classrooms in 2 schools. The classrooms included students from grades 4 and 5, and grades 6, 7, and 8. Students had severe autism and significant cognitive and behavioral challenges. After 3 weeks of consistent use CalmConnect was shown to reduce off-task behavior by an average of 48%. (Bruder, 2017).
Teachers and therapists frequently report a variety of immediate as well as long-term benefits. When used twice a day for a total of 15 minutes by adolescents with severe autism, students were observed to be more engaged and calmer in the classroom. Over the course of 6 weeks, there was a clear increase in social interaction as well as a decrease in undesirable behaviors due to an ability to communicate wants and needs more effectively. (Titone, 2010).
A 5-year-old boy with severe autism showed improved mirror neuron functioning as well as an increase in behavioral outcomes: Speech and language, eye contact, and imitative gesture. The young boy and his family engaged in CalmConnect 5 minutes a day/5 days a week for 12 weeks. Along with significant behavioral changes, CalmConnect was a “protocol that is fun and engaging for children and their families to do at home together.” (Leigh, 2010, presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Philadelphia, 2010.)
The workplace is not the same one we left before the pandemic. People are returning to the office, continuing to work remotely, and experimenting with hybrid models as families juggle work, school, and childcare, struggling with ever increasing demands on their time and their lives.
People are more fragile, more sensitive, less resilient. Communities are fractured. It’s hard to feel safe and connected to other people, while social media spreads the news that mental health is the next fitness craze.
56% of adults in the United States have reported negative mental health effects from anxiety and stress over strained social relationships and reduced social support during the pandemic. (The 2022 Pandemic Anniversary Survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association between February 7 and 14, 2022.)
American adults also reported feeling emotionally overwhelmed and fatigued, with 87% agreeing that it “feels like there has been a constant stream of crises without a break over the last two years.”
“The number of people who say they’re significantly stressed about recent events is stunning relative to what we’ve seen since we began the survey in 2007,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, American Psychological Association chief executive officer. “Americans have been doing their best to persevere over these past two tumultuous years, but these data suggest that we’re now reaching unprecedented levels of stress that will challenge our ability to cope.”
“We know from decades of research that healthy and supportive relationships are key to promoting resilience and building people’s mental wellness,” Evans said. “Particularly during periods of prolonged stress, it’s important that we facilitate opportunities for social connection and support.”
CalmConnect is a scientifically based, digitally streamed self-regulation program that harnesses the power of human connection to calm the nervous system and increase social connectedness and wellbeing.
This patented social engagement system works for people of all ages and abilities in just a few minutes; regulating the nervous system and changing behavior, making it easier for individuals and families to engage with the world – at work, at home, and at school.
Addressing non-pharmaceutical behavioral health management through its social engagement model, CalmConnect is an innovative program that delivers significant positive outcomes. Initially targeting behavioral issues associated with autism, the program evolved to manage classroom behavior in the education market (81% reduction in off-task behavior –Wayzata Public Schools, 2018), reduce the effects of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, improve mood, behavior, and sleep in the aging market, and reduce or eliminate agitation, anxiety, depression, and loneliness for people of all ages; at home, at school, and at work.
CalmConnect works well as a transition tool: Starting/ending the workday, particularly for those working in stressful environments such as healthcare, law enforcement, and schools.
The program increases teamwork and collaboration, improving outcomes when used together by groups of people.
In just a few minutes, CalmConnect can improve mood and change behavior.
Therapeutic impact can be attained when used with individuals or groups. As a transitional tool or priming activity, CalmConnect reduces anxiety, increasing calm and focus prior to ADLs, meals, therapy sessions, or sleep. Most importantly, CalmConnect supports social connections when done in groups and with individuals who are struggling with social interaction, or even speech. Research continues to find later life and well-being are linked to interpersonal connections.
In addition to immediate benefits for self-regulation and co-regulation, the program delivers consistent outcomes observed after regular use over four to six weeks.
- Increase in Speech and Language
- Increase in Eye Contact
- Increase in Imitative Behavior
- Increase in Processing Ability
- Increase in Motor Skills
- Increase in Socialization
- Increase in Organization
- Increase in Collaborative Behavior
- Decrease in Agitation and Insomnia
Currently, CalmConnect is used in hospitals, behavioral health centers, clinics, transitional care units, nursing homes, assisted living programs and cognitive care centers. The program is often used by occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, psychologists, physicians, and caregivers, improving their mental health and behavior regulation as well.
Used as a transition tool (beginning of the day, mealtimes, bedtime, before stressful activities, or anytime a calm/centered nervous system is desired), the program works in as little as 5 minutes. Most users do one to two sequences (alone or ideally with a group) to help them increase self-regulation and function.
Regardless of age or ability, using CalmConnect for just a few minutes each day can decrease stress, improve mood, and enhance one’s ability to focus.