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Ben Chutz explains why to focus autism startup on caregivers

Birdhouse for Autism is trying to help those with autism by helping those closest to them.

That’s not how the Detroit-based tech startup wanted to do it at first. It originally launched with the idea of creating software for helping people with autism. It didn’t take the team long to figure out where the real need was.

"We wanted to make something to better support the Autism population," says Ben Chutz, co-founder & CEO of Birdhouse for Autism. "But there was already a strong focus on children and the parents were really unsupported."

Chutz originally got started with creating the company because a family member of someone close to him had Autism. After a lot of research and trial and error they saw that the market needed something to help the parents and caregivers of people with autism.

"The parent is really the center of the child's care team," Chutz says. "They are the hub of everything that is going on."

Birdhouse for Autism, a graduate of the Bizdom accelerator, has developed a mobile app that helps track the behavior of autistic children so the people taking care of them can better manage the disorder. Thousands of families have downloaded it as the startup works through its public beta and prepares for larger releases.

The app streamlines the care cycle for the person with autism. It helps schedule things like medicine use and behavioral swings in an automated system. The hope is to make the everyday life easier for the caregiver and help them recognize trends in the child’s behavior.

Chutz likes to joke that Birdhouse for Autism’s app might be the only one that encourages its users to use it less overtime. That way parents can be better focused to the child’s needs and take more time to find better solutions.

"It really depends on what their needs are," Chutz says. "A lot of the time they will settle into a system that works. They don't know that there is a better way to handle it."

Birdhouse for Autism has landed $250,000 in angel investment is building out a more robust mobile platform for its technology. The hope it will help the parents find a better way to help their children with autism.

"The parents can provide the best care for their children when they know what works best for their child," Chutz says. "Birdhouse for Autism helps them discover those insights."

- Written by Jon Zemke

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