MINNETONKA — Dolly Lowery has a passion for helping students with autism, dyslexia and ADHD overcome their learning disabilities by playing a video game.
She and her company, Minnetonka-based Kinuu, launched BrainyAct in 2018, and in May 2019, the company began offering an in-home version of the therapeutic video game.
BrainyAct uses Kinect technology — the same camera that Xbox uses for Xbox Kinect — to track students’ body movements as they complete tasks.
Those who use BrainyAct have seen improvements in handwriting, communication, memory and emotional regulation, the company says.
The at-home version of the program is designed for students who cannot come into the Minnetonka office two or three times a week and for those who don’t live in the Twin Cities.
The program is exactly the same as the in-office version, except users do not get the assistance of a BrainyAct coach. The coaches work with children in the office to make sure they are using the program correctly and getting the most out of it.
At-home users rent the cameras, computers and dance mats from Kinuu for $1,000. If the equipment is returned in good condition after four months, they get $750 back. The in-office BrainyAct program runs $2,000 for 40 sessions.
Lowery told Lakeshore Weekly News they decided to launch an in-home version because it fits into the company’s goal of being “affordable, effective and convenient.”
The at-home version allows Kinuu to help more kids with ADHD, autism and dyslexia, as well as collect additional data to improve the program for future users.
Parents frequently tell Lowery their child looks forward to using the game, which Lowery says is unusual for a child with learning disabilities who is going to therapy. That’s because therapy can be stressful for children with autism, dyslexia or ADHD. But when therapy is wrapped up in a video game, it doesn’t feel like therapy, Lowery said.
BrainyAct’s website is kinuu.com.