Our son is smart, cheeky, and playful.
He loves Harry Potter, baking chocolate cupcakes and complicated Lego sets.
He is on the autism spectrum.
We decided to purchase a SpaceTalk watch for him after reading reviews of the product from parents of children with special needs.
Many of the reviews discussed how much the watch had helped ease both the anxiety of both parent and child.
To us, the most specifically interesting feature of the watch was the GPS.
Our son is ten going on eleven.
He’s becoming more independent by the day, which we love seeing. Part of this newfound independence is really enjoying spending time at his best friend’s house. They eat burgers and create intricate Lego set ups and have started asking if they can walk to the park by themselves.
As he gets older, we want to be able to give him the independence he needs to grow and develop but we also want to make sure he’s safe.
Since he was young, he’s tended to wander off, and often, when overwhelmed, he runs.
It’s happened in shopping centres, in parks, and at airports, and it never gets less terrifying.
When we first showed him the SpaceTalk watch, he was excited.
For starters, it was grey (favourite colour). He was also thrilled with the messaging and calling features, even after we broke the news that the contact list was to be expressly controlled by his very loving parents.
We explained to him that the watch would help the three of us stay connected, that if he was worried or needed to talk to us, he could call, and that we would always be able to find him.
As much as he enjoys spending time at his best friend’s house, he can get a little anxious if he’s away from us.
With his SpaceTalk watch, he can message or call us. He can tell us what Harry Potter is up to or that the babysitter burnt the cupcakes.
A few weeks ago, we were at a dinner and our son was spending the evening at a family friend’s house.
We’d been gone for about an hour when we got a message from him asking if he could call. Of course, we said we’d love that.
He was anxious and wanted to hear our voices. We spoke to him for a little while until he informed us that he was feeling much better, and wanted to go and play in the backyard with the others.
Having that contact and connection, and giving our son the independence to call us himself from a device we know is safe has given us a great deal of reassurance.
The watch also allows parents to set ‘Safe Zones’ and will send an alert if your child leaves one of these predetermined areas.
We’ve found this feature extremely reassuring when he’s with friends, particularly as they start to explore a little more, and perhaps take those trips to the park by themselves.
The other fantastic feature is ‘School Mode’ which essentially means the watch becomes just that, a watch, when he’s in the classroom.
Parents control all the settings via an app, and they can be adjusted at any time, which we’ve also found really helpful.
So far, my son seems pretty chuffed with his new gadget.
He’s particularly impressed with the fact that he can call his grandparents all by himself, and we think they’re rather pleased with this as well.
In our opinion, he’s a bit too young for a phone, so having something like a SpaceTalk watch is a near perfect solution.
It gives us peace of mind knowing that he’s safe, and it’s also made school pick-ups much easier, given if he can’t see me, he can message or call, and vice versa.
As he gets a bit older, we’re thinking of adding a few friends to his contact list, and he’s looking forward to that.
He might just turn out to be a bigger fan of SpaceTalk than he is Harry Potter (or perhaps not but Harry’s a hard man to beat).