LakiKid Founder Jason Hsieh Helping Kids with Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder
Jason Hsieh is the founder of LakiKid, a growing company who provides quality and affordable products that help neurodiverse children with their daily challenges. LakiKid is an eCommerce company that helps kids with special learning needs like Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder by providing support, education, and products. In 2013, Jason’s son, Keanu, was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD at the age of 2 while they were still living in Japan. They decided to move to Seattle, Washington because they just could not find the help their son needed in Japan. In the winter of 2017, Jason then founded LakiKid with a mission to help kids with Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder by providing support, advice and products that will reduce anxiety and improve attention span, improve sleep and inspire confidence in interpreting their senses. It is his mission to help neurodiverse kids live a life full of possibilities. LakiKid runs an online support group with 2400+ parents and weekly educational video podcasts. It has helped over 20K+ kids with it’s products since its inception in 2017. Their products are also being used in 300+ locations including NBA Arenas, Football and Baseball stadiums, Aquariums and Zoo’s across the United States as part of KultureCity’s Sensory Inclusive Initiative program. Jason appeared on 6 podcasts (ADHD Support Talk Radio, SPED Homeschool, Become A Fearless Father, Silent Sales Machine Radio, Ecomcrew, and Once Upon A Gene), and has also been a keynote speaker at the Selective Mutism Summit. Today we talk in-depth about what led him to start LakiKid Enjoy!
***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***
In this episode Peter & Jason discuss:
:53 – Intro and welcome Jason Hsieh!
1:55 – On the difficulty of finding adequate resources in Japan to deal with any kind of neurodiversity
3:11 – On the stigma around getting help & support, then talking about it, especially as a parent
3:47 – What caused you to move to Washington, was there just zero help available in Japan?
4:50 – Is Tokyo also progressive when it comes to neurodiversity?
5:47 – On how Jason founded https://lakikid.com/ and what prompted him to start it
6:56 – On the company itself, the products offered
6:55 – On the advantages of not only helping children in the home environment, but more of a global, general public service.
7:32 – On Sensory inclusive movements like www.kulturecity.org is pushing, and response thus far
8:51 – On the future plans for www.lakikid.com
9:05 – How has the response been to your partnership?
10:38 – On the possibility of partnering with other schools, or districts
11:11 – On how his son has adapted to the “new normal” w/ COVID, homeschooling etc.
12:00 – On more & more parents realizing that they too may have ADHD, after their child’s diagnosis
12:11 – How do people find out more? Website: https://lakikid.com/ They have a monthly video block that they partner with occupational therapists, as well as different educational materials that people can check out. Lost of free materials! Follow them at @LakiKid_Sensory on Twitter @LakiKidSensory on Facebook and HERE on YouTube
13:14 – Thank you Jason! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via email@example.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!
13:42- Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
Hi everyone. Peter Shankman and you are listening to another episode of Faster Than Normal, which is always nice. It’s great to have you guys. I hope you’re enjoying your day, wherever in the world, you might be. We’re going to Washington state today and we’re going to talk to Jason Hsieh, who’s the founder of https://lakikid.com/ a small and growing company that provides quality and affordable products that help neuro-diverse children with their daily challenges. They’re an e-commerce company and Jason founded it. They help kids with special needs like autism ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and they provide support education and products. In 2013, Jason’s son Keanu, best name ever, was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at the age of two, while they were still living in Japan. They moved to Seattle Washington because they just couldn’t find the help their son needed back in Japan. We’re going to talk about that, In the winter of 2017, Jason founded https://lakikid.com/ with the mission to help kids with autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder….processing disorder by providing support advice and products that will reduce anxiety, improve attention, span, improve, sleep, and embrace confidence for the kids. It is his mission to let neuro-diverse kids live as full a life or a life full of possibilities as possible. Talk to me, Jason, welcome to Faster Than Normal, thank you for being here.
Hey, good morning. How are you? Thank you for having me on your podcast.
Definitely tell me about. So I’ve heard from other people that in Japan, it is very hard to get the resources needed to deal with any kind of neuro-diversity. Is that true?
I would say a 100% true and that it’s not just in Japan… and I’m from Taiwan. My wife’s from Japan after we got married, we moved to back to Japan, but that’s also the case for Taiwan as well, because I think we, in alot of Asian community and Asian countries. There’s a huge stigma around mental disabilities that people tend to avoid talking about it. Pretending it doesn’t exist. What does try to hide it? So that’s kind of that kind of mentality in the society lead to lack of resources and lack of openness to openly talk about those kind of issues.
I imagine it would be difficult if there is a stigma around it that that getting help and getting support and then coming out and talking about it in itself would just be difficult.
Of course for sure, and that’s something I also struggled with when I first learned about my son’s diagnosis back then, and I actually went through almost six months of denial. I refused to accept that there’s something wrong with my son because we, my family does not, no one else to have mental disabilities. Like how can this happen to my son? Just doesn’t really make sense, and I think that’s a process that… alot of the parents, especially Dad’s, I think goes through a lot more than a Mom, because I think we don’t interact with the kids as much as the Mom’s do, and that tends to kind of create some kind of barrier. And also as men, we tend to try to fix stuff, but Autism, ADHD or something like that is not something you can fix. That’s something you need to create. Well, I guess, make it better and make improvement, but you couldn’t really fix that kind of thing.
And you said your son was diagnosed at age two in Japan. So when he was diagnosed, what did the doctor say? You know, I mean, he told you, OK, your son has, you know, a central processing disorder, ADHD. Um, did he…. was there…, was there help available? What… what happened? I mean, cause you obviously moved to… you moved to Washington, you moved to Seattle. Um, was there just nothing available?
So, um, that’s actually a perfect example for this is we didn’t even find out about it until my wife pointed something out was kind of strange because every time she would take our son to the playground, he doesn’t play with any other kid. He tends to play in his own corners for the whole time, for like one or two hours straight. He doesn’t even look at any other kids during the whole time. So that sounds really strange to my wife and that’s where she brought up, uh, the proposal. OK, maybe we should have to have him take a beat, take a look at, and the first thing we got half of after we talked to the doctor in Japan is like, OK, this is a potential issue. But unfortunately in the area that we used to live in, which we live in Tokyo, one of the largest metropolitan areas you can imagine you have almost as much population, as the city of New York, but we can only go to 2 therapy centers that provide any kind of services for our son with the kind of symptoms that he has. So that is not a good situation to being in, to living in the city was population over 10 million people, but you can only go to two locations to find help.
That’s pretty amazing when you think about it, that that’s all that. Um, is available at, out of, you know, you look at, uh, Tokyo and, and, and, and cities like that, and you think that they’re so progressive, when in fact it’s actually very the opposite.
Unfortunately that’s a 100%t true, even so, they are very technology-wise, they are very advanced, but when you come to mental disability and kind of services that you can get, I think they are of these 10 year behind the United States and a lot of the Western countries.
Hmm. So let’s talk about https://lakikid.com/ You moved, you moved to Seattle and you realized, okay, you’re just going to start a company that will help these kids because what, there was nothing available. I mean, there was obviously a lot more support available here. So what prompted you to start the company?
I think it’s really just by connecting with other families that also have kids with special needs, and also at that time, the biggest struggle we have, is the insurance that we initially got. When we moved back here, it doesn’t cover ABA therapy, which is an intense one-on-one behavior therapy that a lot of the kids with autism will use. And I was also trying to find out additional ways to supplement our family income. That’s why the idea of creating a business and helping other families, kind of similar to ours, that’s where the idea was coming from, and also by talking to other families that also have similar issues, but they couldn’t really find a lot of affordable products and solutions that can really help their kids, that’s… that’s where the idea originally come from. And we have since grown to something a little bit bigger than that, which I can talk a little bit more. . .
Yeah. tell me, so tell me about the company. Tell me about the products, tell me about what you do, talk about it.
For sure. So https://lakikid.com/ as a company, we are quote “mission is to empower support and educate kids with, uh, different sensory issues.” And we partner with, um, different non-profit organizations. One of the biggest non-profits that we partner with is called https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/….start with K. Uh, they have, uh, one of the, um, they are an international non-profits. They have locations in both US, Canada, Canada, Australia, and UK. I see right now, they have over… 500 different locations, uh, inside one of the biggest programs called https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/and I’m just honored that we are able to partner with the non-profit and by providing sign of our product into their program and what their programs do, is still go into locations like zoos, aquariums, NBA stadiums, football and baseball arenas, and they’ll do, they’ll do three things for all those locations. First, they will provide staff training so the staff is aware of the sensory challenges for the kids that have ADHD or Autism will face when they go to a public arena like NBA stadiums. Second, they will provide a physical tool that’s free to use for the family, they call a sensory bag. Inside the sensory bags, we have noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys, and a weighted blanket, which we designed for https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ for them to use. Our weighted blanket is unique in the way that we make it. A, the material is different that kids can write on the blanket itself, use a water pen, so it’s a 100% interactive, and last but not least, is they also help those arenas and locations to build sensory rooms, which is essentially a quiet space that a family can go to in case the kids is having a meltdown now, uh, while attending those kinds of events.
Interesting. So it’s, you’re thinking more of a bigger picture in that regard, it’s not just to, to help the child, you know, when they’re at home when they have it, It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s more of a global thought.
Of course. I think we, uh, at our core, we believe in the sensory inclusive movement that https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ is pushing, and it’s all about creating a more accepting environment, not just at home and classroom, but also in the public, in the public, the general public as well.
What’s the response been?
Oh, https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ and us, um, I think collaboration has gone a long way and the response has been very positive and of course, um, like everything else, uh, we all get affected because of the COVID situations, because all the location, I just mentioned almost every one of them got shut down because of COVID and including our business, because we do a lot of, uh, um, transaction with school, and as you know, majority of the schools, oh gosh, shut down at the same time last year when the COVID situation happened, so it has been a very tough year for us last year, and we are kind of struggling right now, trying to recover from, from the, from the fallout of that. But hopefully this year will be a much better year.
Cool. So tell me what you have planned for the future for https://lakikid.com/ ?
Yeah, so one of our biggest programs that originally were planning to launch last year, but because of COVID, we didn’t happen, but we have a new program we’re working on called Sensory Inclusive Classrooms, which the idea is to implement what https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ is already doing in the NBA stadiums and all the different locations I mentioned earlier, but inside a public school environment, by providing a similar kind of training for the general education teacher, for the parent educators, and also help them provide some of the tools, like sensory tool that the teacher can use in the classroom and also helps out of the school to build sensory room if they have the budget and the space to do so.
Awesome. Are you… are you looking at partnering with, uh, other schools or districts or things like that?
That’s one thing we’re working on. We do have a pilot program here in Washington that, uh, implementing before COVID, but because of the COVID situation, everything kind of got shut down. We are kind of waiting to see…. some of the schools are already starting to reopen here in Washington, but not all of them. So kind of waiting to see what the situation is going to turn out and how the vaccination roll-out is going to be before we decide what we’re going to do with the school program again.
What has, uh, how has your son, uh, adapted with, with COVID and with homeschooling and all that?
I would say that was one of the biggest struggles. That’s very common for the parents in our community, in myself and my wife included because it’s very hard to focus even in-person, I mean, let alone saying remote learning because you’re just staring at the screen and that’s something my son definitely still struggles with, um, focusing and, um, like being able to pay attention in class because he has not just Autism, but ADHD as well.
So yeah, totally. I could see the… the biggest problem for me was the lack of movement, you know, running around, running around and around and everything just stops, you know, and move… movement is living for someone with ADHD. So not being sort of just being stuck at home and not really doing anything has been brutal.
For sure, and that’s one more thing I want to share that I actually didn’t realize I had ADHD myself until I was doing all the research and all the study for my son and the more research and the more study I was doing, I realized I was checking 9 out of the 10 boxes for…. that was ADHD myself.
More and more, more and more parents, more and more parents get diagnosed because their children get diagnosed and they realize, wait, this looks really familiar.
Exactly. Yeah. It’s, it’s kind of, it kind of explained my, my childhood story because I went to five different high schools myself, because I sweat a lot during school and I couldn’t really pay attention, and I didn’t know why. Then I was just keep on being told that I was, I wasn’t a very good student, but now with the diagnosis… is kind of explaining a lot of the things that happened to me when I was young.
Yeah. Jason, how can people find more, uh, what’s the website for https://lakikid.com/ ?
Yeah, they can find more https://lakikid.com/ It’s spelled as lakikid.com. We have a monthly video block that we partner with occupational therapists, and we also have different educational materials that people can check out our product. And most of… most of the, um, we have a lot of free resources that we’re trying to provide to the families as well.
Awesome. Jason Hsieh, thank you so much for taking the time to be on Faster Than Normal, I really appreciate it.
Thank you so much for having me.
Definitely. Guys, thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, drop us a review, leave us a note, we’d love to know more. We’d love to have, if you have any guests you think should be on the podcast, tell us, uh, send us an email at https://www.shankman.com/ or https://www.fasterthannormal.com/ or @petershankman , Peter Shankman (@petershankman) • Instagram photos and videos Peter Shankman (@petershankman) | Twitter all the socials. We would love to hear it. And, uh, we’ll try to get your guests on the show as well. This podcast is for you and it’s about you. So thank you for listening, have a great day.
Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week.