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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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WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »