Toronto dad develops app to help make morning routines easier for kids

Brili offers a high-tech way for children with special needs to stay on track during the morning rush.

Brili offers high-tech way for children with special needs to stay on track

Morning routines were a struggle for Toronto dad Pierre Séguin and his son Leo, who has ADHD. That daily chaos became the inspiration for Séguin's app, Brili. (Brili)

Get dressed. Eat breakfast. Brush your teeth.

Sound familiar? It's a daily refrain most parents know, but getting kids to actually make it happen can be a challenge — particularly for children with special needs, like autism, ADD, or ADHD.

And for Toronto dad Pierre Séguin, it was the inspiration behind Brili, a new app that's meant to help both parents and children minimize morning stress by helping with morning routines.

"Before we learned about how to do routines properly, it was chaotic," says Séguin, whose son, Leo, has ADHD.

The father and son were both on CBC's Metro Morning to talk about the app, which guides kids through their morning routine through prompts and rewards when tasks are completed.

Consistency, structure recommended for kids

"We talked to a lot of experts initially to sort out our own situation, and we learned consistency and structure are common themes recommended for parents at home to implement with their kids," Séguin says.

In his own family's home, he says they would use egg timers and other strategies to keep the morning routine in motion. But with a background in technology, Séguin figured there had to be an easier way to do things.

Brili was the result. Séguin is the founder partner and CEO for the company, and says the app works by providing notifications to both parents and children on their respective devices.

"It'll prompt the child to start the first task — which might be getting dressed in the morning — and when they finish that task, they swipe the card to the 'done' pile," he explains. "Then, the app brings up the next task."

Affirmation is built into the process, whether it be the promise of future free time or stars that children can trade in for rewards.

Leo says mornings in the Séguin household used to be "very stressed," but Brili has changed that. 

So how does he spend the free time he earns through the app?

"Video games, mostly," Leo says.