Nearly every adolescent will take interest in video games at some point in their lives. But for some, what starts as a recreational activity can turn into a video game addiction. If this occurs, then over time family, friends, school, and even personal hygiene may be neglected, as every spare moment is spent playing video games. While video game addiction can happen to anyone, it is important to pay close attention to the relationship with video games in teenagers with Asperger’s. Video games are not necessarily negative influences in the lives of young Aspies, in fact some experts believe they can be an educational tool to help Aspies gain social skills within an entertaining forum. However, just as too much of a good thing can be harmful, so can exposure to video games.

Aspies and video games

Because young people with Asperger’s are naturally attracted towards socially “safe” forms of entertainment like video games, some video game manufacturers and programmers have been working to create games that can teach real-life skills to these children. While this is ultimately the direction we want our society to progress in (creating options for children of all needs) the very same experts show signs of children with Asperger’s ability to become dependent on such games, and developing video game addiction. 

video game

Image source: Flickr user- Jason Devaun

When it comes to video games, parents of a child with Asperger’s are faced with a dilemma: Do you limit your child’s exposure to activities that interest them and run the risk that they will withdraw even more, or do you allow your child boundaryless access to video games despite the obvious repercussions?
It is important for parents to find the balance between accepting their child’s unique interests, and encouraging their child to develop social skills and additional interests that might take them outside of their comfort zone. By granting the child unlimited access to video games, is offering the child nothing more than a quick fix, and a dangerous path towards video game addiction.
In order to help your child minimize the risk of video game addiction it is important for parents to encourage their child to develop interpersonal skills off of the computer and to set boundaries around how often the child can play video games. Children and teens with Asperger’s syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders frequently fall prey to a fixation with screen time. Computers, television, and video games feed into their tendency toward isolation.

Seven Stars can help

If you feel your child may have a video game addiction, or an eccentric fascination with a topic that you can not control, call Discover Seven Stars where we can help you today. Call (844) 601-1167 to get the help for you and your family today.

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