Autism is a disorder of neural development. The disorder is usually diagnosed in the early age since the little patients affected with autism show impairments in social interaction and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior. Signs and symptoms are typically very pronounced before a child is three years old. Autism is obviously caused by certain genes, although the exact genetics of autism is not clear yet. This disorder affects 1-2 per 1000 children worldwide, and about 9 per 1000 children in the United States. There is no cure for autism, and there is not a single case in which a child completely recovered. However, deep understanding of this problem may help these children to live their lives more fully. Families and the educational system are the main resources for treatment. Here are some games suitable for children with autism spectrum disorders.
Bop and Jump
This beginning level game promotes social engagement of a child with autism. Parents can play this game with their children, since they probably need to help them by showing them how to do it. This game should be played in the safe environment where the child cannot get hurt. The child jumps on the trampoline or on the bed, and the parent holds a small soft pillow while chanting, “I’m going to get you, and I’m going to get you!” The parent throws a soft ball or a pillow, and if it hits the child, the child jumps off the bed or the trampoline on a soft surface (such as a big pillow, a pile of blankets or a lazy bag). A child may also play a second role, and the parent may jump on the trampoline or bed.
Can We Go?
This is an intermediate joint attention game. The object of the game is for the child to watch the adult why asking for permission. The child and the parent hold their hands, and the child asks, “Can we go?” the parent may answer with “No” or “Yes”. If the answer is “Yes”, the pair moves another step further. If the answer is “No”, the child repeats the question until the parent says “Yes”, so that they can proceed happily to new location. The goal of the game is for a child to see how to accept a “No” without disappointment.
Up Step Quest!
The parent and a child move together and do the same things at the same times in this advanced joint adventure game. The parent and a child climb the stairs and on each level, they pretend to do something interesting. For example, the parent may suggest there is a fish with a golden ring at the bottom on the stairs. Now the child and the parent need to progress downstairs and meet imaginary challenges on each step of the road: sleeping rattlesnake, frost and cold, etc.