Emilie Skytta MFA Collaborative Design Practicum 2014
MīMonster : a design inquiry and intervention for pediatric migraine sufferers
The neurological disorder labeled ‘migraine’ affects between seven and ten percent of children before the age of fifteen and about two percent of children before the age of seven. The disorder is difficult to diagnose in children due to their cognitive development and language/communication abilities.
This projects asks: is it possible to create a set of developmentally appropriate tools focusing on young children that will aid in pain assessment and diagnosis, migraine tracking and symptom coping? This body of work is three-fold in scope and applies interaction and product design principles to the development of a set of tools called MīMonster Finder, MīMonster Tracker and MīMonster Trap. The overarching goal is to give young children agency over their disorder.
Children between two and seven years of age are still in the pre-operational phase of cognitive development. During this stage of development, children do not possess a concrete verbal language, and their thinking is decontextualized. Assessment is difficult since the child is unable to provide a self-report of their pain in words much more descriptive than “it hurts”. Designs supporting this specific stage of cognitive development will allow children to better communicate to adults and deal with their disorder in a way that makes sense for them.
Winner of the 2014 MFA in Collaborative Design Thesis Writing Award