In the article, “ Can Science-based Video Games Help Kids with Autism?”, Sarah DeWeerdt discusses the remedial impact that technology has on children with autism. DeWeerdt emphasized that children with autism, especially boys with autism, spend twice as much time playing video games than “typical” boys do. Thus, she used this information to analyze how this can have a positive effect on giving autistic children practical skills.
Throughout the article, DeWeerdt discusses a plethora of video games that have been targeted towards helping children with autism improve on skills such as, balancing problems and gazing control. One of the video games created for autistic children was known as, “Let’s Face It!”, a series created by James Tanaka, a cognitive psychologist. This was known to be one of the first games for autistic children “to show improvements in a randomized controlled trial.” However, the issue with this game was the timeliness of the research. With game developments, they often prefer to do things in a quicker manner, to keep up with socio-technological advancements. Therefore, the interface and system requirements that they may have used before, aged drastically by the time the game was ready. This game however, had an iPad app spinoff that taught children with autism how to make certain facial expressions, which can help with their “characteristic flat affect.” With games like these, they were found to be effective because they included features such as predefined goals and roles that go well with autistic characteristics.
Although there have been Advocacy organizations (Autism Speaks) geared towards autistic children. There have only been 5% of those data studies that have turned out successful.
I found this connection between autistic children and remedial technology to be surprising. I think the neuroscience behind understanding how technology can improve autistic traits is vital for better a understanding of handling children with autism in the future. These games that have predefined roles and goals are allowing children with social difficulties and preference with routine, to gain practical skills in a way that interest them.