(Photo | Courtesy of Friendometry)
Friendometry.com, a new public service that blends innovation, psychology and computer science to help address childhood loneliness, is now live.
“For the past decade, I have been working with children and families impacted by various neurodevelopmental differences such as autism, ADHD and anxiety who do not have friends,” says founder and CEO Dr. Daniel Kriz of Bend. “When children do not have friends, they are at higher risk for anxiety and depression as they get older which can lead to life-long emotional struggles. Even having just one friend can be a lifesaver that can result in higher self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth.”
Kriz, a pediatric neuropsychologist, says there are currently millions of children who do not have friends, and that childhood loneliness has life-long consequences. He developed Friendometry.com to help address this global problem.
Friendometry.com is an online resource where parents can go to meet and find other parents who are seeking friends for their children in their same geographical area. The parents complete a strengths-based and anonymous profile of their child that consists of their personality characteristics and interests. The site is safe, secure and parent-driven to determine when meeting is the next step. The children who benefit from this service generally have had some difficulty either making or keeping friends for one reason or another. They may have a diagnosed disorder, or may just be quirky. However, all parents are welcome to join if they are seeking friendships for their children. Children are not allowed on the site; it is strictly for and driven by parents. Friendometry.com is also a great peer resource for parents to connect with other parents who are experiencing similar situations.
Kriz says research is clear that children need more than “online” friends, and that having “in person” friendships improves child development. All parents using Friendometry.com want the same thing for their child — a friend. Friendometry allows parents to get straight to the matter of finding a friend for their children.
“Currently, parents of children with neurodevelopmental differences have limited options to meet, and are meeting through informal channels such as school, support groups, etc. There is no platform out there to match children in a geographical area. It is time to make it easier for children who have difficulty making friends to find each other. When a child makes a friend, they are happier, have higher self-esteem and the parents feel relieved,” says Kriz.