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Videogames for the Autistic

Something we've needed for a while, I think.
  [vote for,

I have a cousin who is severely autistic, to the point of where he can't really effectively communicate with anyone. He can say a few words - dog, mom, etc., but can in no way construct a sentence.

However, he does like to play videogames quite a bit, and seems to be able to figure them out quite well. It seems as if they'd design a console specifically for autistic children - something with the system itself and the game cartridges not easily broken, with simple gameplay that would be enjoyable to such people. Also, autistic people tend to be gifted in one area; although my cousin cannot communicate well, he is almost genius material at mathematics. Perhaps games could be targeted to bring out such skills?

Pseudonym #3, Mar 17 2002

(?) Computer Assistant for a Person with Autism http://www.cs.color...name/MindTouch.html
From the folks at the University of Colorado [phoenix, Mar 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) "Games Suitable For Your Kids With Autism, And For The Kids In All Of Us" http://www.geocitie...onlight/PSX/psx.htm
[phoenix, Mar 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

The Geek Syndrome http://www.wired.co...9.12/aspergers.html
Wired article about the above average incidence of autism in Silicon Valley and how the techies are dealing with it. [phoenix, Mar 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

xybernaut XyberKids computer http://www.xybernau...berKids_product.htm
Designed for kids, shown to be beneficial for autistics. [phoenix, Mar 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       children's special educational needs are so very varied. croissant for the thought.
po, Mar 17 2002

       Quite true. But the games themselves could be varied, also, according to the levels and abilities that children had or lacked. I realize that not all autistic children would go for this, but I know a lot of them would. Even non-autistic children might be able to use these games; they could be a pre-school way of teaching toddlers how to add or subtract, for example, or a teaching aid.
Pseudonym #3, Mar 17 2002

       I was really thinking of the design of the console more than the games as obviously you would choose the game or activity to suit the child. I like this idea very much. no pseud my note came back.
po, Mar 17 2002

       It should be, if it says tibbs_tax@hotmail.com.   

       I just re-activated my account; apparently, it got closed because I had to sign the new 'terms of service'. Try it now, I think the message should get through.
Pseudonym #3, Mar 17 2002

       And, supposing you got the console/system to connect to the internet, such games could be downloaded and used by other children.
Pseudonym #3, Mar 17 2002

       Pseud - I read something very recently that astudy found that autistic kids responded really well to the TV series of Thomas the Tank engine, because the speech was slow and soft, there was little animation, and the fixed expressions (sad, happy etc.) of the engines were less confusing.
May be a video game based on Thomas with similar features to game play??
goff, Mar 18 2002

       It's certainly viable. There are games out there that are similar (i.e., 'Barney's Hide and Seek', etc.) but they are primarily targeted towards younger children rather than the autistic, and there is largely a difference. However, formats like childrens' television shows would probably work very well, with added elements that would help the child interact/learn from the game. Just my opinion, anyway - I'm no expert. :)
Pseudonym #3, Mar 18 2002

       This Is In response to goff who wrote autistic children respond well to Thomas the Tank Engine. I work With Autistic children and i would just like to say that they love Thomas. Our Class Has A video console and we have Thomas theTank Engine we use it as a reward system and it works great!
rlbb, Jun 04 2002

       I am a graphic artist working at a small company that makes learning software for children with autism. Right now, we have two free video games available (Fire Safety and Street Safety) and are working on phase 1 of a more comprehensive series of games that teach children how to interact in social situations. Our website is www.do2learn.com.
Sandra, Jul 04 2002


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