Video Games as a Form of Therapeutic Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Video Games as a Form of Therapeutic Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Toby Mehl-Schneider (City University of New York, USA) and Shimon Steinmetz (Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5792-2.ch012
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Abstract

The use of video games as a therapeutic intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has steadily increased over the past years. Children with ASD tend to show a great interest in and affinity for playing video games for leisure. This chapter explores how researchers have sought to determine if this inherent motivation could be utilized to assist children with autism spectrum disorders in increasing beneficial skills needed for daily life. Video games have, therefore, been used to assist these children in improving social competence for communicative purposes, improve executive functioning skills, and increase a variety of personal performance skills. Although the variety of research studies in this subject area is expanding, there continues to be a lack of empirical research in this area, and small sample numbers of participants in the majority of the existing research. A lack of longitudinal studies, moreover, is problematic as the studies cannot demonstrate if a learned and mastered skill on a video game can carryover and transfer from the video gaming setting to everyday activities.
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asd)

The use of video game technology to assist children with ASD is considered to be a beneficial tool for a therapist to use in the therapeutic intervention setting. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). The diagnostic criteria for this disorder include these five characteristics (Note: See the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, 2013 for the complete diagnostic criteria):

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