Mood Buddies

alleviating meltdowns one light at a time
Mood Buddy


New, stressful environments can trigger meltdowns for children with autism. When this happens, communication becomes nearly impossible, making mitigating these situations that much harder. 

solution & features

A plush Mood Buddy with push-button lights to quickly communicate content, sadness, anxiety, and overstimulation. A customizable social story app to practice using the Mood Buddy and form routines for stressful situations.


- Connect with parents and collect insights via Reddit & Facebook

- Interview communication experts and pediatricians to understand accepted field practices

- Brainstorm communication solutions and synthesize prototypes

- Develop social story app wireframe from paper to interactive

- Test the Mood Buddy and app in therapeutic day schools and special needs community centers


- Led the team for over a year, organizing weekly meetings and keeping progress on track

- Generated, distributed, and analyzed user research surveys online

- Developed circuitry and produced the final plush prototype

- Organized & conducted user testing.

skills developed

User research & testing with vulnerable populations, project management, prototyping, basic electronics, UX design.