New Alexa Skill Helps Kids With Severe Epilepsy

A new Alexa skill called Ella the Jellyfish aims to help children with a severe form of childhood-onset epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). The skill allows children to play interactive through listening and creative activities like:

  • Listening to stories
  • Singing songs
  • Listening to meditations
  • Playing games like “Color Hunt” or “Ella Says, Freeze Dance”.

Related: Children’s Safety Games and Activities

Ella the Jellyfish Alexa Skill
Ella the Jellyfish Alexa Skill

The Ella the Jellyfish skill, created by Eisai Inc, a pharmaceutical business that deals primarily with neurology and oncology, is available for free on Alexa-enabled devices, according to a recent press release from the company. Kayleigh Keen, a parent of a child with LGS, said,

“Having a special-needs child can be isolating and exhausting because it’s so difficult to find help or a community that understands our needs and most of the time we are struggling to just keep our heads above water…When we attended the LGS Foundation conference this year, it was fun to watch my son have the opportunity to sample the skill and see my son’s face light up as he easily interacted with Ella the Jellyfish during several activities.”

Symptoms of LGS include frequent seizures, cognitive impairment, developmental delays, and behavioral issues like sleep disturbances, aggression, hyperactivity and signs of autism. As children with LGS require 24/7 supervision, the Ella the Jellyfish skill is meant to support both children with LGS and their parents.

Related: The Best Safety Books For Children 

Eisai Inc. said that they created the Ella the Jellyfish skill with the goal of “human health care”, moving beyond traditional medicinal approaches. Dr. Michael Chez, a Pediatric Epileptologist at Sutter Medical Group in California, said he also looks for forms of support beyond pharmaceuticals. He said in the press release, “When I treat children with LGS, I am always looking for ways to better help support caregivers and families navigate the daily challenges of taking care of someone with this disease…Ella is a wonderful example of how technology can provide a new level of support and compassion.”

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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