I love playing family board games. This isn’t just because I work for Blue Orange. It’s not just because I have fond memories of playing board games as a kid or even as an adult. The simple reason is that it engages my son in a way that other things cannot. My son has autism and ADHD. Board games provide us a way to engage with each other and with friends and family , and work on his social skills. I learned and honed the skills of game play for my son through ABA therapy sessions. We worked with him on turn taking, focus and attention, visual perception, social skills, sportsmanship, etc. He would have so much fun with the games that he never thought he was doing any type of “work”.
He beats me in Gobblet Gobblers (probably his favorite game).He can’t get enough of the multiple Spot It! versions. Sometimes, we don’t play the game the way it’s meant to be played and that’s ok too. I have fond memories of a playdate with him playing “hide and go seek Spot It! cards” at a friend’s house. Not only was the mother ok with our kids running around the house trying to find hidden cards but she encouraged it! He made up a new game using materials from an already beloved game and everyone had fun.
April is Autism Awareness Month. I’m so happy to hear about the role that board games contribute to ABA Therapy. I’m a big fan of Sam Blanco, BCBA and her website – Teach Through Games. She’s an ABA therapist that utilizes games in her therapy sessions. She does a great job of modifying games to her students individual skills.
Have fun and learn through playing!