Monday, July 27, 2009

ASDs and Video Games

Autism Asperger’s Digest Magazine is one of my favorite publications for all sorts of information. In the latest issue, July-August 2009, page 11, there’s an interesting little news brief about a video game making class.
So many of the kids and teens (and a few of the adults as well) with whom I work love video games. And many kids on the spectrum aspire to a career as a video game designer. As a therapist, I try to focus on my clients’ strengths and interests, and expand them if possible. This class could offer an opportunity to expand an interest beyond just playing the game to learning some new skills.
I’m not opposed to video games in moderation. Playing a video game can be a self soothing activity, or it can fill a crucial role as an emergency babysitter when the parents just have to cook dinner or finish the taxes. Certainly, for school age boys, video games are a part of the culture and they enable social connections and interactions to flow more smoothly.
Of course, becoming a game designer as a career is unlikely, but the skills involved are useful regardless. The organization also offers a Lego engineering class, another common interest. You can get more information on both at All About Learning.