Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Pokémon GO. It’s a GPS-based augmented reality game–and many think it may be able to be a powerful tool for teaching social skills to teenagers with autism. Autism Speaks recently published an article discussing the benefits Pokémon GO could offer teenagers with autism.

A new way to teach teenagers with autism social skills

The author of the article–a school psychologist named Dr. Peter Faustino–mentioned his struggle to find a solid way to teach teenagers with autism social skills. He says one of the main issues is getting them to actually go outside and interact. Pokémon GO has provided a purpose to going outside and interacting–a purpose that can push past their anxiety about leaving the safety of their home.
Yes, that purpose is to catch ‘em all (a frequently used phrase in the Poké-verse), but that’s not much different than leaving the house to see a concert of a band you love. The difference is that Pokémon GO continues. You can’t just go out for a few hours once to win the game, you have to frequently go out, walk around, discover new places, and meet people to become successful in the game.

For once, encouraging video games

It is not often that you hear a parent encouraging video games, but Dr. Faustino says this should be one you encourage. This game is a motivation for teenagers with autism to go out into the world and interact. It’s easy to do this with them, too!
For example, your teen with autism may want to go on errands with you because he can play the game. In the grocery store, at the library, during your morning walk–it’s quite easy to supervise a teen while they’re playing this game. This could even be a new way for parents to bond with their teenagers with autism. It could be a new way for these teens to bond with each other and make new friends. There are endless possibilities.

Seven Stars can help

If you have a 13 to 18-year-old son or daughter struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder, Seven Stars might be able to help.
Contact us today for more about how Seven Stars treats teenagers with autism and ADHD at 844-601-1167!

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