Existing in large quantities on the market, online games can contribute to the development of autistic children, but care and attention is needed when choosing the best game.
Multiple screens, applications and online activities have become virtually indispensable in anyone’s daily life. The large number of games offered on digital platforms ends up generating an enchantment in children of various ages. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also share this fascination with technology. However, regardless of the child’s condition, the games must be selected correctly and used sparingly.
The pedagogue and psychomotorist Beatriz Zeppelini explains that not all games are able to stimulate the development of autistic children. For her, when a certain game is used in the wrong way, the child may miss the opportunity for social and physical interaction. This is because one of the greatest difficulties of the autistic child is the interaction with other people. When the child is exposed to interactive platforms, he can be immersed in that universe, which makes interaction difficult.
“Technology is something that opens doors in a child’s development. However, it is not the main element. Skills need to be taught as games are used. These online games should not be an escape or a way to entertain the child while the parents do something else. They should actually be used together to stimulate interaction,” explains Beatriz.
Stimuli generated by games
In online stores where apps can be purchased, there is a large amount of games that can be used both to entertain and stimulate the child. Choosing the ideal game among so many options is no easy task, so Beatriz Zeppelini says that the dialogue between parents of autistic children and the therapist must be constant.
“There are games for the development of attention, motor coordination, logical reasoning and literacy. There are also games in which the participants need to interact with each other to define strategies, for example. Each game will work a certain skill. The choice, therefore, should be guided by the therapist and the parents of this child,” he says.
The pedagogue also explains that the use of games can be an element of attraction for autistic children. “When an adult carries something that is interesting for the child, it becomes easier to establish a bond with him/her. This has been very common with tablets, toys and games. The child may not be interested in the person, but he or she may be interested in what is offered to him or her. The game, then, becomes a tool for bonding,” he explains.
Although games have been consolidated as a therapeutic form of support for autistic children, not all online games can be used as a tool for the development of these children. “Determining which game is or is not suitable depends a lot on each one. It will depend on what I want to teach that child. Games like JADE are ideal for most cases because it is intended to teach. But always remembering that the monitoring of parents and therapist is ideal for using these games,” concludes Beatriz.
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