When you think about technology and the medical field you probably think about how it can help machines run better and improve life-saving procedures. But when it comes to technology and STEM, there are true therapeutic purposes.
Technology can be used for therapeutic purposes for kids on the autism spectrum, specifically videogames. Let’s take a look at how this type of technology can help children on the spectrum.
Videogames can Help Boost Social Skills
While some people may view videogames as an anti-social activity, for kids on the autism spectrum, it can actually help them to be more social. According to the Asperger/Autism Network, videogames help kids communicate because it allows them to do in a less threatening way. For many on the spectrum, the idea of face-to-face interactions is intimidating. With videogames, kids can share their common interest in gaming without the anxiety that comes with in-person interactions.
Another interesting note is that Science Daily reports that videogames that require the use of technology have proved to improve motivation and learning processes in children on the autism spectrum. This is something else to think about when it comes to videogames and thinking about how technology can be used for therapeutic purposes.
Videogames Help to Deal with Mistakes
When you play videogames, you quickly learn when you make a mistake because your turn is over. Those on the autism spectrum can get stressed out about making mistakes. By playing videogames, they not only learn that making mistakes is not the end of the world, but they also learn how to work around them.
Videogames to Help with Motor Skills
Motor skills can be a challenge for kids on the autism spectrum. Playing videogames can help to increase motor skills because of the movements that are necessary to play the games. If kids are playing touchscreen videogames, it can also help them with hand-eye coordination.
Videogames Can Improve Attention Span in Kids on the Autism Spectrum and Those with ADHD
When kids play videogames, they are extremely focused on the attention on the screen. Researchers have discovered that a multi-tasking videogame designed to treat ADHD and autism did show an improvement in the attention of children who played it. There are still many more studies that need to be done, but researchers in this study were encouraged by these results.
While there are is still research that is being done to look at the connection between technology and how it can be used for therapeutic purposes, the current information supports technology’s positive influence, especially for those on the autism spectrum.