“Pokemon Go,” a game that has taken the world by storm, has led to quite a few car crashes, incidents of fence hopping and even reports of people falling off a cliff. However, along with all the unpleasant episodes, it has also led a number of children on autism spectrum to go outdoors and socialize with other players.
Since “Pokemon Go” is a location-based game that requires players to move around and visit different places in their neighborhood, some parents of autistic children believe it has made their kids enjoy going outside and playing with others in the playground.
Even some autistic people have said they now find it easier to start conversations because they want to talk about the game with others.
Recently, dozens of strangers came together to play “Pokemon Go” with an autistic teen at Tempe Beach Park in Arizona after some college students decided to bully him for playing the game.
“I'm so grateful. I'm just so grateful because if this wouldn't have happened, we would still be hiding in our house like a lot of families like ours do. And I just can't thank everyone enough,” said the teen’s mother, Angie Swartout.
The community members even brought gifts for the teen.
Heartwarming! Dozens of strangers showed up to play PokemonGo w/ autistic teen who was bullied while playing last wk pic.twitter.com/i4TuFMF7yx— Raquel Cervantes (@RaquelABC15) August 1, 2016
Parents from across the world have shared similar stories online. The game not only helps autistic children find a connection with others, it also helps with their social anxiety and depression.
In fact, a school for autistic kids in New South Wales has put together a guide to incorporate “Pokemon Go” into the institution’s curriculum.
“The launch of ‘Pokemon Go’ this past week has heralded a gaming experience unlike any I have ever witnessed,” said Craig Smith, deputy principal of the Aspect Hunter School for Children with Autism in Newcastle. “Even though we are less than a week into the game, it seems certain that this game is a phenomenon that is going to be growing and reaching spheres of impact in ways that we perhaps can't yet foresee.”
Find out more in the video above.