Pointing, Picnic Time, Who Knows What and FindMe2 are 4 new games helping children with autism to practise different social skills.
The hugely popular Find Me iPad app (with over 25000 downloads), designed at the University of Edinburgh for children with autism, has gotten a big revamp!
In this new version, there are new characters and new scenes including bedroom and kitchen scenes.
Listening and recognising that others want or need different things to ourselves is a key social skill.
In our new game, Picnic Time, children can practise this skill in a fun picnic setting. The player is told what person on the screen likes, and they have to remember and pick the correct food for them.
Reading body language and eye contact
A key skill associated with learning language is to relate objects with words (or labels). However, this requires children to be able to read body language of other people.
In Pointing, children have to notice where the person is pointing to, and later on, where that person is looking at. From a selection of 2, then 6 objects on the screen, the child can practise the skill of reading body language and eye contact.
Who Knows What?
Children with autism often struggle in understanding the mental states (thoughts, feelings, desires) of others. One complex kind of mental state is the state of ‘knowing’ something. There is substantial evidence that children with autism do not easily grasp that only specific kinds of contact lead to knowledge – i.e. touching a container does not mean someone knows what is in the container.
In Who Knows What, children have to practise that seeing leads to knowledge, but other senses do not provide the same kind of knowledge.