What Are The Best Games For Kids With Autism?
Linda Wechter-Ashkin Ph.D NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
Once again we have a loaded question because it really depends why you are looking for games. If your goal is to teach your child a skill, then you are going to want to look for games that target the skillset that you want your child to improve. I have done some research and have included some games that are tried and true, some that are less well known, and some that are free.
Are You Looking To Improve Their Social Skills And Communication?
1-Charades – This is a great way to work on both verbal and nonverbal communication skills as well as on turn taking and teamwork. You can get a store-bought version or just wing it.
2-Don’t Interrupt Card Game – This is a great game to improve attention, while also practicing conversational skills. It is great for children who struggle with constant interruptions.
3-Look In My Eyes Train Engineer- This is an interactive toy where young engineers can explore five different train sections and travel to landmarks throughout the world while learning to improve eye contact and social skills.
4-Minecraft- This can be a great tool for ASD kids to explore their social skills and the reach of their imaginations, but it is to be used with supervision.
5-A Quest For Social Skills-This is a great book filled with tons of printables by JoEllen Cumpata and Susan Fell.
ARE YOU LOOKING TO IMPROVE THEIR ABILITY TO EXPRESS THEIR EMOTIONS?
1-Feelmo Speaking Cards These are good for helping teach emotions and feelings, and learning to identify and express
2-Social Skills Board Games (6 Pack) This is a set of games that are designed to help with social skills. It is designed for elementary school aged children.
3-Social Skills Chipper Chat Magnetic Game This one is a great value because it has 30 game boards in it. The games are designed to teach social skills in many different situations and setting
4- Pictello-This is a storytelling game which gives children with communication difficulties a way to create and share visual social stories.
5–Feelings In A Flash– These cards contain different scenarios and reaction faces showing a wide range of emotions.
ARE YOU LOOKING TO TEACH THEM ADAPTIVE LIVING SKILLS?
1-What Would You Do At School If… This game helps teach problem solving skills, and thinking through situations that may be difficult to adapt to at school.
2-What Would You Do At Home If… This is a card-based game to help work through how to adapt to various social situations at home.
3-Soccer- This popular game can help improve the motor skills, endurance, strength, and coordination of kids with ASD, and is an excellent team-building sport.
4–Counting and Sorting Game This is a great game for children with autism who enjoy sorting and organizing by colors and numbers and can be very soothing for some kids.
5- What Do I Need? Life Skills Task Cards-Sold on Teachers Pay Teachers these cards help children to work on specific adaptive living skills.
ARE YOU WORKING ON EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING, ATTENTION, AND IMPULSE CONTROL?
1-Simon Says- The focus of this game is on commands listening and quick responses. Use clearer, slower instructions to avoid frustration.
2-I Never Forget a Face Memory Game- Great memory and identification skills game that increases sustained attention
3-Super Mario Maker-focuses on problem solving, pattern recognition and the consequences of actions as well as key life skills
4-Mother May I-This old-time game is great for helping children to pay attention and work on impulse control.
5-Chinese Checkers- Helps children to problem solve and anticipate consequences and possible outcomes
ARE YOU LOOKING TO EXPAND THEIR ABILITY TO TOLERATE AND EXPLORE SENSORY MATERIALS?
1-Yeti in my Spaghetti-This is a fun game for kids 4 years old and up that has both sensory skills and social skills teaching such as turn taking
2-Teachable Touchables Texture Squares-This bag of squares is great for talking about sensations, textures, and colors
3-Kinetic Sand Kit-This is a great sensory game that also allows for some group play or make believe play.
4-Ice Painting-This is a great way to paint, introduce your child to temperature changes, and the best part is there is no mess.
5-Sensory Bottles- Filling a water bottle with glitter, buttons, different colors, and shapes can promote the sensory engagement of children. Sensory boxes can easily be made with household objects.