How Can Video Games Help Autistic Kids to Overcome Their Significant Problems?
Are your kids addicted to video games? An ongoing debate about whether games that use advanced technology do any good for kids is gaining steam.
Kids, especially those diagnosed with autism, are seen to spend greater amounts of time playing video games and this is seen to be a worrying trend among parents.
Every day, new games and apps are being released into the markets that are solely designed for kids with autism, and they have gained momentum.
While on one hand, parents agree on the noticeable changes in their wards’ behavior and active engagement, they are also equally worried about the kids growing addicted to the games.
Many parents have stressed upon their growing concerns that often their kids end up being inseparable from their games and end up refusing to take up any other activity.
MUST READ: Could Video Games Help for Autism Treatment?
It’s not only parents that are worried about their autistic kid’s inseparable addiction; there have been multiple studies to back up the claim. Autistic kids at times get overly engaged.
Their over-addiction leads to them being inattentive to other important tasks.
An in-depth study was carried out by authors Englehart and Micah Mazurek to understand the kids’ growing obsession toward video games.
The authors observed role-based games were to be blamed for children being obsessed and ending up being preoccupied, much to the dismay of their parents. For instance, games that require the players to create the characters and maintain them during the play were seen to be addictive.
The authors further stress the need for educators and parents alike to have a holistic view of the child’s environment and not to punish the child by discarding the technology.
Mazurek says that technology cannot be blamed completely, nor the kids. Parents allow increased access to the games to maintain a serene environment back home. However, many parents fail to notice that these types of artificial serenity are short-lived and bound to backfire.
Modern parenting requires the right balance between choosing the appropriate technologies and teaching their autistic kids how to use these to their advantage.
Autistic kids are seen to struggle in the areas that are described below:
- Language and Communication
- Social Skills
- Behavioral Traits
Further, the DSM-V manual has divided autism into three different levels:
- Level 1: High Functioning Autism kids who require support. However, kids on level 1 are seen to function in their regular school activities.
- Level 2 and Level 3: Kids who need substantial support and have difficulties in their behavioral, communication, and social skills.
Although games can be played by kids on all of the above levels, kids diagnosed with more severe symptoms are seen to benefit from special games that are designed to address their limitations.
The added advantage of playing games is that they help one develop social skills.
Video games can be helpful for practicing social skills. If proper care is exercised, games can benefit kids in teaching them the different ways to handle frustration while being flexible.
One may argue, how can a game help someone to be flexible?
Games by nature are designed to increase their level complexities as the player progresses. This does not come easy and requires the players to learn from their mistakes as they attain new levels.
Do you believe in games helping youngsters to adapt to new environments, helping them learn how to blend in? Do comment in the comment section below.