If you’re a parent or an educator chances are you’ve repeatedly heard about how we should limit the amount of screen time kids have and how we should be careful that they’re not consumed by devices. While those things are important, it’s also important to realize how technology can also be therapeutic.
Virtual Reality Games Can Help Treat Anxiety
The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that virtual reality gaming can help to treat a variety of anxiety disorders. One study found that it can be helpful to treat things like a fear of spiders and a fear of flying which can cause great anxiety in many people. This lends itself to believe that virtual reality games can help to treat other forms of anxiety. There is also hope that it can even help to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in the future.
Video Games Can Help Kids with Dyslexia
While there are many types of therapies available for children dealing with dyslexia, one study found that children who played action-based video games had an improved reading speed that did not decrease the accuracy in which they read. Researchers studied a group of 10-year-olds who played 12 hours of an action video game. They claim the effects were the equivalent of more than a year’s worth of reading development.
Gaming May Help Battle Depression
One study that looked at Syrian refugee children found that playing Minecraft and completing the structural tasks it requires significantly reduced the children’s sense of hopelessness. During the study, children were asked to create a dream house, neighborhood, and school. This helped them to imagine a better future for themselves which in turn helped them to not feel as hopeless as they did before completing the task.
At MakerKids, we see how technology can lead to therapeutic breakthroughs first hand. During one of our Minecraft classes, one student raised their hand and spoke to an adult for the first time in years. This development brought his mother to tears because she realized how significant this was for her child.
Another child with apraxia had a limited vocabulary for his age and difficulty speaking. He came to our Minecraft programs for one year and through his reading and going through Minecraft tutorials, he developed an above-average vocabulary for his age.
It’s stories like these that prove that technology can be therapeutic and can help children in many ways that other traditional methods may not have been able to. By opening your mind to the benefits of technology, you can open up a new world to a child as they explore a vast variety of STEM topics.