Inspired by Her Brother, Juliana Fetherman Made an App that Helps People with Special Needs Connect

After she finished college, Juliana Fetherman didn’t know what to do. But, she soon realized she wanted to create something that will be of aid for people with special needs to be able to form friendships easier.

In her junior year at the Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, Fetherman was clueless about what she wanted from her career.

She was trying to find her purpose and began exploring her passions. She was a president of the school’s autism club-an organization that raised money and awareness for autism causes.

She was very interested in spreading awareness about autism and people who have it, especially because her own brother was diagnosed with this condition at the age of 8.

Juliana Realizes Her Purpose soon & Dedicates to It

With her experience in school and her goal to help fill a need in her brother’s life, she decided to create an app that will ease those with autism to make friends.

She named it the Making Authentic Friendships or MAF. This app is intended to assist children and adults with special needs to build strong relationships with each other and sorts the users by diagnosis, location, interests and age.

She came up with the idea for such an app after she reflected on the years in middle and high school, remembering the numerous weekends she had spent with her friends whereas her brother didn’t.

She often felt like she was leaving him behind at home-it felt so unfair. She always wondered why this is so and why she could form friendships yet her brother couldn’t.

The App Is Successful & People Are already Loving It

Juliaana wants to help those who feel isolated to find others similar to them. With more than 1000 users in 45 states, 22 countries, and 6 continents, the app has been growing in the last couple of months.

Fetherman loves how the platform has been helping people with autism build friendships. In fact, one boy from the UK told her that the app changed his life and gave him an opportunity to ‘find someone who liked Star Wars just as much as he did’.

She explains that although she created the app inspired by her brother, it’s not just teens and youngsters who’ve been using it.

She is also happy and proud that users beyond their 40s are also using it. She believes this is also challenging for these people. This is when they’re out of school, out of programs and sports activities. Making friends becomes even harder.

Her brother is also enjoying and using the app-he’s been face-timing a person he met on the app, an awesome thing, explains his proud sister.

The more he spends time, the more comfortable he becomes using it.

He is always looking forward to using it and making new connections.




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