Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Videos games and the ASD mind

I just finished reading an article about a Study on video games use by boys.

The study says:
"boys with autism are spending more than two hours playing video games. That’s nearly twice the playing time clocked by their typically developing peers"

The study also claims:
"These results suggest that children with ASD and those with ADHD may be at particularly high risk for significant problems related to video game play, including excessive and problematic video game use,” 

The final quote I will pull from the study is this:
"Attention problems, in particular, are associated with problematic video game play for children with ASD and ADHD, and role-playing games appear to be related to problematic game use particularly among children with ASD.”

I guess the question I have is which came first the chicken or the egg?  Does the prevalence of video games lead those with ASD to be inattentive, or are we boys with ASD normally inattentive, and video games and computers attract our attention, because it is a world full of rules that we can know and rely on?

I don't think that some people who run studies, like this one in Paediatrics, really understand ASD at all.  There have been guys with ASD a lot longer than there has been video games and tv.  There are many ASD boys and girls (like me) that get equally lost in books, card games, music etc.   I used to play lots of video games when I was younger, but before I had any Nintendo, etc i used to sit down on the living room floor and with a deck of cards I would create the most elaborate games, and play them, by myself for hours and hours, until I got hungry, or was told to come to a meal.  I needed that.  I always needed to do something.  Something I could understand the rules to, that didn't change unless I changed it.

I don't purport to understand the NT mind at all, but I know that we guys with ASD can find it a lot easier interacting inside the virtual world than in the real world.   I know that we need to work on our links in the real world, but we also need our oasis.

Sorry for the rant, but I got riled up when I read this, and felt I needed to get my thoughts sorted out, and do this best when I write.

What do you think?

Do video games cause attention problems with boys with autism? Or is it that these boys crave worlds that they can understand?

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