As a parent or teacher of someone with special needs, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed at points. This is only natural, as it can present the carer with various challenges they may not be used to. That said, when it comes to the child’s education, there are various ways you can make the process easier for everyone.
Special educational needs solicitors are available to anyone who feels their child isn’t getting the provisions required for them at their school. That said, minimising the need for this at all costs is in everyone’s best interests. So, how can teachers and parents do this?
Gaming might seem like a surprising answer to helping your special needs child do well at school. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the many benefits it could have for your child. Take a look…
The Benefits of Gaming for Special Needs Children
Boosting Motor Skills
Gaming using a controller and joystick makes for a great way to improve fine motor skills and neuroplasticity. For example, for children with Cerebral Palsy who may struggle with their motor skills, this can come in really handy. In fact, it acts as a rehabilitative exercise, helping them to enjoy movement in a fun and interactive way.
Similarly, games like Wii Sports, that require you to mimic the actions of someone playing Tennis, for example, can also improve motor function. Both the fine motor skills using the hands, and motor skills using whole body movements, can be exercised through different games.
Develops Passions and Interests
Not only this, but these types of games can even help a child with special needs to develop interests that can be brought into the learning environment. For example, playing Wii Sports may foster an aptitude and passion for various sporting activities.
These interests may not be able to develop at school due to troubles with communication and social ability. Gaming in the comfort of their own home can encourage these developments to be brought into the classroom later.
Gaming is all about being able to execute various tasks in a specific order, on time. No doubt this requires various organisational qualities, including time management.
This makes for a very useful transferrable skill when it comes to schooling. After all, homework and examinations require plenty of time management too, which is also a skill that can be useful later on in life when they come to the working world.
Like many other neurotypical people, those with special needs fear making mistakes. However, this can be to an extreme, with extreme stress over making life mistakes becoming overwhelming.
With gaming, however, mistakes are inevitable; we can’t always be perfect. These gaming mistakes then teach the child that mistakes in life are beneficial to development, which can be carried into the real world.
Those with autism and other special needs may be very rigid in the way they go about everyday tasks. This includes their learning and education.
Gaming can actually show them how to be more flexible in going about everyday problems. This is because each round normally requires a new strategy, and adapting to these changes in the environment to solve problems can all be implemented in the real world.
Developing Social Skills
Children with special needs may struggle with language and communication. That said, according to the Asperger / Autism Network, some games can even help the user to develop their social skills outside of the classroom. They say this allows “individuals on the spectrum to learn new social skills because it eliminates the need for intimidating face-to-face interactions.”
This way, the gamers can learn to communicate in a much less threatening environment. What’s more, they don’t need to think of things to talk about as they already have gaming in common.
Helping Bridge the Gap Between Neurotypical and Special Needs Children
Speaking of common interests, this makes it a little easier for special needs children to communicate with others at school and in everyday life. With all this comes one of the most important benefits of gaming for special needs children, and that is a bridge between those with and without these extra needs.
Considering children with special needs are more likely to get bullied by the peers at school, having this common interest in place may help. This can encourage them to develop friendships outside of their usual circle.
Ultimately, having these social bubbles through gaming can help special needs children to make friends in ways they might otherwise not be able to. Considering the human need for social interaction, this is sure to boost the child’s mental health and prospects for the future.
Is Gaming a Good Idea to Help Your Special Needs Child at School?
As you can see, there are a variety of benefits of gaming in helping special needs children to get the best out of their education. Of course, it’s important that parents and teachers understand the types of games that are appropriate to play to encourage the above benefits. If done correctly, they could truly benefit your child’s social and educational development.
Do you have any insight into how gaming can benefit children with special needs? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments down below.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional or solicitor. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking advice regarding the treatment of your child. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.
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