Title

Evaluation of a social gaming programme for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Cashin, A, Smith, J, McQueen, R & Stein, T in press, 'Evaluation of a social gaming programme for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder', Collegian.

Published version available from

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2019.06.001

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Background

Computer and video console gaming has been discussed as having great potential in engaging people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and providing a relatively safe platform for social contact. There is a paucity of research in this domain.

Aim

This paper reports on the evaluation of a site based social gaming programme for young adults with ASD.

Methods

Semi structured interviews were conducted with six participants and eight parents of seven separate participants approximately 12 months from the commencement of the group.

Findings

It was identified that the shared interest in gaming provided a motivating platform on which to base social interaction. Participants identified the benefits of the group as getting them out of the house and being a site where they have had meaningful social contact based on something about which they are confident. Parents identified that they had observed similar benefits. They discussed a wish for closer contact with the service provider and an individualized plan for their family member including a plan for transition to other leisure activity work or study.

Discussion

It became clear that a group and process structure needs to be consciously developed and made explicit to participants and their family/carers to allow realisation of the group aims.

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