Our team at SentioLife Solutions thanks Hilary Smith for her guest post titled, “Why Pokémon Go Is Perfect For Children with Special Needs”. The summer of 2016 will be remembered for the Pokémon Go craze that swept throughout Canada and the world. Many have written about the pros and cons of this game. A craze is an enthusiasm for a particular activity or object that typically appears suddenly and achieves widespread but short-lived popularity. Only time will tell if Pokémon Go is here to stay.
A recent Doctors of Nova Scotia Blog post titled, “3 Reasons to Keep Playing Pokémon Go” says:
“Have you stopped to think how playing Pokémon Go is affecting your health for the better?
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play mobile app that dropped in mid-July. The game uses your phone’s GPS to track your real-world location and augmented reality to help you locate, capture, battle and train fictional creatures called Pokémon. The Pokémon appear on your screen, overlaid on top of what your phone’s camera sees in front of you. And if that wasn’t awesome enough, you create a digital version of yourself that can be customized down to the clothing you wear and the faction (team) you join. Whether the game’s developers intended to do it remains to be seen, but they’ve managed to create a game with great physical and mental health benefits.
In this post it explains three benefits of Pokémon Go touching on the following three aspects:
- You Move
- You Interact
- You De-stress
Guest Post by Hilary Smith
Why Pokémon Go Is Perfect For Children with Special Needs
By now, you’ve probably heard of the craze over Pokemon Go, a game where users have to physically move around to uncover and catch different Pokemon characters. Although you may have brushed this off as another trendy kid’s game, the truth is Pokemon Go can actually be very beneficial to special needs children. Here’s how:
Breaks the ice
Children with special needs tend to have trouble meeting new friends, but Pokemon Go can serve as the perfect ice breaker in social situations. Take your special needs children to a local park or playground, and you’re bound to run into other kids who are also playing the addictive game. Your child can easily get into a conversation with other kids about the game discussing strategies, tips or tricks they may have discovered. Before you know it, your special needs child will have made friends and scheduled future play dates to continue the hunt for Pokemon characters.
Gets kids outside
Sometimes, special needs children get in the habit of sticking to a certain routine, which may include staying inside the house all day. Any deviation from this standard routine can cause discomfort and upset your child, but not when they are motivated by Pokemon Go to break out of it. Kids who are used to being confined in the house all day will be begging parents to go outside so they can wander around looking for more Pokemon characters. Not only will this help your child get out of the routine they have become so accustomed to, but it will also promote physical exercise, which is beneficial to all children.
Parent bonding opportunity
If you and your child both have a smartphone, download the app and play it alongside your child for a unique bonding experience. Or, pull it up on your phone and engage in conversation with your child as you stroll outside looking for characters to catch. It can be difficult to find ways to bond with children with special needs, but Pokemon Go is the perfect way to have fun with your child doing something he or she loves.
Children with special needs often feel like outsiders when surrounded by other children of the same age. But, when your child sees other kids playing the same game he is, he will feel more included and less isolated. Even if he does not strike up a conversation with the kids who are playing the game around him, knowing that he is partaking in the same activity as other kids his age will make him feel more at ease and confident.
Sense of accomplishment
Kids who play Pokemon Go are on a mission to catch certain characters and earn rewards through the app. When your kids begin to catch more characters or accumulate more points, they will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Reaching goals in the game can improve your child’s self-esteem and improve his confidence.
So, it’s important to not judge a book by its cover and write off Pokemon Go as another kid’s video game. When used in moderation, Pokemon Go can greatly improve the lives of your special needs children!
Author Bio: Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics. @HilaryS33