How video games are being used to teach autistic children?

Video games have faced a barrage of criticism for a while from certain areas describing them as addictive, time-consuming and having a negative experience on a child’s life. However, recently experts have seen how video games could help children who are on the autistic spectrum.

Can video games help autism?

Children with high functioning autism can really struggle with social skills and are often isolated as a result of this. Autistic children can also find it difficult with functioning skills such as organisation, planning, flexibility in structure and dealing with a new situation.

Studies have revealed that it is becoming beneficial to teach autistic children using video games. Games have been proven to engage children more and make a child feel more rounded.

How video games benefit students with special needs?

Teaching an autistic children about video games is beneficial because they are able to explore a world unlike their own. Gaming can be a way of breaking down many barriers and allowing the child to open up to children in their class that they may not have done before.

It is becoming increasingly popular for parents and teachers to use even mainstream games such as Portal 2, Mario, Zelda, all the Lego games and in particular Minecraft to promote the use of social and emotional skills, adventure and creativity so that the child can use the skills they have learnt in the game in the real world.

In Minecraft, the player is encouraged to discover a world and create their own one. This can either be done singularly or as a team. This encourages social skills and function skills in terms of building their own world in this sandbox game.

Even games with a sporting theme like FIFA or NBA 2K can help curb hyperactivity and improve behaviour, in particular boys. The quick decision-making, much like trading platforms forex, helps with concentration levels and focus because they have to be precise with their decision.

These mainstream games can also encourage you to play as a team and offer co-op levels so that you are playing together and building up a social relationship face to face. Research showed that it heightened many areas of social communication and reduced behavioural matters.

Despite some pitfalls surrounding online gaming and online chat, if a child’s console is regulated and their online use is monitored, they can benefit from participating in online gaming with their friends and building their social abilities.

There are also more specialised games such as the fantastic TeachTown which is used in classes to help with language skills. The game is designed to display a different set of images and teach the child some more contextual knowledge and some feelings that they might have towards this object.

So should video games be used?

Much of the evidence suggests that an autistic students can profit greatly from using video games to help their learning, particularly with the obvious struggles that an autistic child faces regarding social skills and functioning skills. It improves their focus and reduces any behaviour issues that may occur daily. Using video games can help increase concentration and improve focus in lessons which is beneficial for parents, teachers and classmates.