Gaming and Dyspraxia:
Previously on my blog, I brought up how video games and gaming can help those with Dyspraxia. Gaming, in general, gets a bad name because of the negative stigma that is thrown in its direction. This page is all about how gaming helps those with Dyspraxia, not only helping those with dyspraxia but helps show how awesome gaming can be! BUT just for your knowledge Video Games does help Dyspraxia but only in certain aspects, it shouldn’t be used as the only means of helping. Just remember that it can help Dyspraxia but each individual is different and so results will vary.
As many of you are aware or will be aware, those with Dyspraxia main problem is coordination and sequence problems. However other problems can be helped through games and gaming.
With repetitive use, the ability to coordinate fingers can be discovered and refined. Especially the games that require multi-button presses or holding a certain button while pressing another. As an example, aiming with the analog stick and then pressing the fire button. Completing a challenge or successfully stringing the presses correctly is satisfying.
There are other games that use your body movement as the controller rather than a handheld device. Consoles with those capabilities are the PlayStation Move, Xbox Kinect, Nintendo Wii, etc. These help train the gross motor movement and also spatial awareness.
Another problem is sequences, or remembering a sequence. Most games follow a sequence, some are simple and others are more complex. Some games require you to press certain coloured buttons in order to rack up points or solve a puzzle by the means of a sequence; something like battling a cliché boss battle. This, in turn, helps coordination but each successful hit rewards the player with points and possibly a star/medal rating for them to work towards and beat. With continuous play, this can help train them to learn the sequence and with this knowledge apply it to the outside world.
While I love to problem solve, some Dyspraxics may find their concentration level isn’t high enough to focus or they struggle to solve a problem. By playing games they can learn to overcome problems within a game by trying to get a certain treasure or taking down a certain enemy. Seeing as in-game they have the visual prompt of the reward (for example a treasure high up on a ledge) it gives them something to aim for rather than an unknown outcome (For example, His/her light bulb has stopped working-how can they fix this?). With video games, they can build a foundation problem solving to work upon.
Interaction with real people (practical):
With modern technology, you can now easily play against or with other people across the globe. Many Dyspraxics feel shut off from the world however with video game multiplayer they have a chance to play alongside others and build up electronic friends, effectively giving them a social life with others who enjoy the same things/games as them. It is best you keep a close watch on children when they are online as I probably don’t need to explain the dangers of strangers and messages. There’s always invite a friend over to play on the same console though. (We gamers call it split-screen). Also, some games promote social activity, such as social media games/competitions and a game I think everyone is familiar with: Pokémon Go! (More on that game later, it deserves a whole chapter to itself)
Interaction with real people (theory):
Most games nowadays have a ‘select your own responses’ so you play a story and the player can choose a response to when the other characters interact. Then players can see consequences for actions or said things helping them understand more of how the world communicates. What is deemed bad, and what is acceptable. While it is good, video games can be misleading with this so it makes a good start but not as the main focus.
Achievement and motivation:
Got through a level? Mini-boost to self-esteem! While it can work the other way if they get rewards in-game it can help them feel accomplished rather than feeling like a complete failure. With this more things can be built upon it. Motivation has to come from somewhere, so start off small and work upwards!
Indirectly to video gaming itself. But if you need to get some motivation into someone then use video games as a reward system if they do something right then they get a spell on their game! Or use it to motivate yourself to do something
There are a whole stack of games to test the educational side of life from science, to mathematics. from languages to geography it’s all there and if they have fun too then it’s a great bonus! While the classroom may seem daunting and confusing, with a game that rewards correct answers can help with motivation. (Works with anyone, even those who aren’t Dyspraxic of course) but for those who struggle a bit more than everyone else it may just be enough to help them understand.
Homework that is gaming! Win-win situation!
Could there possibly be anything else?:
There are probably more ways gaming can help someone with Dyspraxia, especially as more research gets conducted. If this section has been helpful to you in some way or you have ideas that can expand the list then please voice it in a comment below, I am interested in hearing them! If you have a different way that gaming has helped you then please do tell, and it could end up on the above list! This concludes this page on how gaming helps those with Dyspraxia.
Extra Thoughts, Links, and Sources:
There are probably many more aspects of gaming that helps with Dyspraxia and as I come across these ideas I’ll add it to the growing list. In the meantime, you’ll find extra reading material relating to gaming below.
With the game’s fame fizzling out of the public eye, I’ve moved the section to a post;
I’m planning more content and links for this page, so watch this space!