According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about one in 88 children in the US has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD refers to a broad group of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Children and adolescents with ASD are often fascinated by screen-based technology, so many of them are video game junkies. Used with creativity and purpose, video games can be used for educational and treatment purposes, as described in an insightful Roundtable Discussion published in Games for Health Journal.
Good visual perception helps with gaming
Often, people with ASD have difficulty with communication and social interaction. They often have very good visual perceptual skills, including a fine ability to think in three dimensions and they respond well to visual stimuli. Videogames create opportunities for successful learning and will motivate the improvement of skills such as planning, organization, and self-monitoring. They may also reinforce desired social behavior in a competitive environment and offer critical benefits of direct human-to-human interaction.
May improve planning, strategy and learning
Autism is getting a lot of attention from game developers. Gaming may even help individuals with ASD increase their daily physical activity to prevent obesity. Interactive physical games like those provided by Wii or X-Box 360 can keep people with ASD moving and strategizing simultaneously.
Games provide all kinds of unique opportunities
“Children and young adults with ASD have unique opportunities to capitalize on their interest and aptitude in videogames as a resource to develop desired social behaviors and life skills and to increase their physical activity,” says the Editor-in-Chief of Games for Health Journal bill Ferguson, PhD, moderator of the discussion.
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Games for Health Journal