Video Games Can Help Autistic Children

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Alright so I know you are sick and tired as am I hearing a bad wrap from video games all the time.  Some say they promote violence, a bad attitude towards women and isolation from others.  The following story I am about to share from you was read on a very unlikely source a little magazine named Woman’s World where I get all my household tips along with savings and recipe info.

The story takes place in Clearwater Florida where a little preemie baby by the name of Gunnar Scharamek was born. By the age of nine months he amazingly started walking but shockingly enough when the age of 2 came around he still was not uttering a word. He had something called Pervasive Developmental Delay which is a severe form of Autism.  Gunnar was taken to speech therapy and thankfully by the age of 3 he started  to speak a few words such as mommy for the first time.

There was sadly not much improvement in his speech thereafter and he began to shut down and isolate himself  from his family, friends and the world. He would  through very disruptive tantrums so much so that he had to be held down by his parents.

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One day at the age of six  Gunnar  proclaimed to his mom ” Gunnar want pet” so she thought it would be best to have him play an online game with virtual pets than a live one because of his volitile and violent nature. The game happened to be “Insaneaquarium from popcap.com.

Day to day he would play his game , feed his fish and the room was filled with his laughter and glee.  As the days passed Gunnar’s motor skills started to improve as well as his typing skills. He started to  even learn colors and shapes.  Popcap’s games were proven to  relieve stress and boost mood and are used for prescribed therapy if needed.

Fast forward to today Gunnar at the age of  ten plays video games for an hour every day after school his condition has improved so much in fact that he no longer is in need of attending special classes and he no longer has behavior problems and has  plenty of friends. Now he is ready to get a real pet his mother proclaimed. “Video games have given my son a better life!

This story really struck a cord with me because I used to teach children from age 1-6 and many of them used to have behavior and a mental disabilities on where they would act out and be disruptive in the class. Perhaps if video games were perceived as something beneficial it would help reach out to kids with disabilities and other issues as well as all kids.

Below are 4 examples on ways that video games can actually help you.

1.  They help you be more aware of your surroundings

Video Game players process visual information faster which is helpful when you are driving or watching your children for example

2.  They  can improve your memory

Strategic games  such as  Rise of Nations are shown to improve short term memory

3.  Keep you from getting distracted

Biofeedbackgames  like Wild Divine where players use a controller to manipulate on screen actions and though have been shown to help focus for those with ADD.

4. Stay Healthy AND keep in Shape

Games such as Dance Dance Revolution  and Will fit are designed to help children and adults alike move, jump ,run and skip around to shed pounds , have fun and live a healthy lifestyle

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About the author

babylinda

Hello World, My name is Jennifer Safanova ! I am what you call a casual gamer but I have been playing video games since I was 4. My first console was Atari and I moved up to Snes and so on and so on. My 3 favorite games of all time have to be Super Mario World , Condemned and Halo 3! I am here to give a female perspective of the gaming, gadget and anime world. That being said I am a huge lover of Japanese culture and am a huge collector of anime, manga, figures, Japanese paintings, etc etc. I am also a gamer model and a huge comic book nerd! If you go to my link on myspace you can even see me cosplaying as Spiderwoman. I am happy go lucky, silly and have the heart of child. I am very friendly , have a great sense of humor and am very outgoing! So that is a little on me, I will try to keep you guys entertained as much as I possibly can and maybe open your eyes to some things you did not know of but happy you now do!

Readers Comments (6)

  1. Nice article. It’s good to see that video games can finally do some good to people.

  2. I find this article better than any article “claiming” that the Wii Fit can help you lose weight.

  3. @Juan

    It does! I’ve been using Wii Fit off / on for the past year, and I noticed I’ve been getting lazier and fatter because of it.

    Oh wait, you said lose weight. I thought you said it helps you turn diabetic.

  4. 1. lmao @ BB. 2. video games can be beneficial but when people talk badly about them, they arent speakin about those “learning types” of games liek the one this kid used. They are speakin of games like grand theft auto and call of duty…stuff like that. Those games dont really help u inprove any skill, whether it be memory, attention, motor or anything else…they r just for fun. But they do make games out there like those brain games that help u improve ur memory and attentiveness cuz its a quick game. So sayin all games r bad is just a generalization but they r a few “educational” games that can be helpful. So good for this kid and his mom for showin them to him.

  5. there*

  6. Narly NAR :
    there*

    Nardeen is that you? Actually games like GTA in some cases help improve map reading and directional skills. There is all a story on a little girl that helped her family out of a overturned car after an accident because through “GTA” she learned you have to drag people out of a car before it explodes and catches fire. Soon after she called for help. The article is here

    http://www.destructoid.com/grand-theft-auto-helps-young-girl-save-family-102304.phtml

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