Title: Role Playing and autism
Comments: I've been researching the topic of using role playing games to help teach communication and collaboration skills in junior high age students on the spectrum. My son, who is on the spectrum, has written a game to do just that. In conjunction with his therapist, they have beta tested the game now in groups of junior high students.
The students are asking for more nights/week and the parents are reporting huge changes for their child's self esteem and ability to cope and make friends at their respective schools.
These kids are going the extra mile to make sure to be at their game night! One young man who had his driver's permit but had been terribly frightened to drive even got behind the wheel when his mom who had had knee surgery earlier that day reported to her son that she could not drive him to the group. He wanted to be there so badly, that he actually did the driving. His mother was thrilled!
Another student had had an outpatient surgery one day and had no voice, yet he begged his mom to go to class that night and be with his role-playing friends.
We're hoping to get his launched in the next year!
If it was not for role-playing games I would never have socialized. I would have stayed awkward.
A friend of mine has children with Asperger's. He is using Dungeons & Dragons to introduce ambiguous ethical/moral questions (You see a basilisk chained up in a dungeon occupied by goblins. Do you free it, knowing it will immediately try to kill you, or do you leave it, a prisoner of the goblins?). Not everything is simple black and white, it's a very good way to allow her to explore the grey areas of life in a safe setting.
Its really great that Role-playing Games can positively affect some people that may have different challenges than others.
I actually have a theory I ran past a few of my psych profs involving using tabletop Role-playing Games as therapy for autistics to teach them how to be social. All were intrigued. I hope to get a doctorate someday, and I intend to do a study on this concept as my thesis.
Comments: Thank you! Thank you for writing that article!
I recently had a conversation with someone on this forum trying to explain why going on discord (And voice-chat) was such a problem for me as opposed to pm-ing here. I think I kinda explained it a bit in a way they understood the basic concept but I wish I had read your article sooner, I would've simply referred them to it :)
The one thing I have always find hard to deal with is that most people have one vision of autism… rain man *stare*
Meaning that when you do function (Seemingly 'normal') people lose their understanding somehow. Luckily times are changing and more and more people are becoming more aware (Thanks to people like you I might add).
So, thank you. Thank you for writing that… and thank you for being a parent that sees what's 'wrong' *barf* and adjusting to it in the best interest of their child.
I never thought text Role Playing Games can help so many people. I will try even harder to increase traffic to this website. It is nice to see this kind of community.