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New App Paired with Therapy Helps Socially Anxious Children

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A new app can help children with social anxiety.Doctors in Florida are using a special skull cap called Optune and electric currents to treat patients with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Central Florida is studying if an app can help socially anxious children cope with phobia around social interaction. A twelve-week study of the Pegasys School app will begin shortly.

Researcher Dr. Chloe Barry says a combination of therapy, skills training, and practice at social activities like bowling and mini-golf is the most commonly used treatment. But the added cost and time from these activities can be overwhelming for parents.

​Instead, she says the app will teach children the same skills like listening and giving compliments while allowing them to practice social situations like dealing with bullies or talking to authority figures with avatars on the app first.

Families interested in becoming involved on the study should go on the UCF Restores website for more information.

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Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »