In my public review I would like to discuss how video games are not only a great tool but also a behavioral management to children and young adults with Autism. According to autismspeaks.org, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.” I believe that video games have become an outlet to children with these types of personalities. I personally relate to this topic because my fiancé has a brother who is diagnosed with Autism/Asperger’s. He is 14 and in his freshman year of high school. Over the past 4 years I have seen him grow and use technology as an outlet. When we would go to dinner he would play on his Nintendo DS. When at home, he would play the x-box, or Wii. He would use the gaming as a way to disconnect with the conversation going on in the room. This was my opinion until I did some research as to why he would do this. As it turns out, many Autistic children/young adults use technology (videogames) as a source of disconnection. But it is not the disconnection I thought it would be. Instead of it being a way to be out of the social conversation it is more of a focusing tool. Being in the video game brings them into a virtual reality that makes them focused. They limit themselves to the screen and in that brings them into the conversation by being able to focus and listen.
Though it is a great focusing tool there may be another side to this. Video games can influence people very well and depending on the child there could be a more violent side to it. I have seen this in my fiancé’s little brother. If we were to play a game with him and he lose, most of the time he can’t handle it very well. He will throw the controller or say something disrespecting and I believe this mostly comes from being in the virtual world for too long. I believe there is a happy medium and I cannot wait to find out more.