The Positive Effects Gaming Can Have on People with Autism


Video Game Social Group for Autism in Belfast
Fandom Social Group in Belfast

Gaming is a popular past time amongst young people across the world, especially those living with autism. Through the NOW Group we have been hosting Fandom for several years, a social group for adults with autism in Belfast. Here our participants enter alternative realities which encourages socialising and helps to build confidence. At Fandom we can see the positive effects gaming can have on people with autism and how it can help to develop skills used throughout their daily routines.


The Positive Effects of Gaming on Autism


Improves Social Skills

As a result of the advancement of technology, video gamers can now connect with friends and even meet new people from around the world. For those on the spectrum, video games help them to learn new social skills while eliminating face-to-face interactions. This will give young people and adults with autism or Asperger’s syndrome the change to develop communication skills with others added stress or anxiety. At the NOW Group our Fandom social group is a great place for adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome to socialise over a common love of video games. Here they don’t feel the need to overthink about things to talk about as players all have common interests in gaming.


Develops Motor Skills

People with autism can often have problems when developing their motor skills, including learning how to write or even movements such as running. These motor skills can be developed over time by activities that require physical movement, such as playing video games. Gaming consoles can often require their users to act out specific movements, for example Wii Sports or VR Headsets. Through these movement the players will learn how to control their movements to play the game correctly. At our Fandom autism gaming group Belfast, we have a range of game consoles to suit everyone’s needs and preferences from VR Headsets to the Nintendo Switch.


Helps With Organisational Skills

Video games can help with those with autism to develop their organisation skills through planning their next steps within the game and time management when fitting gaming into their daily schedule. These skills will be beneficial in adapting to changing routines, which is something that people with autism struggle with.




Problem Solving

People with autism often experience stress and upset when it comes to making mistakes or problem solving. Throughout life we all make mistakes, especially when playing video games. By playing games in teams or as an individual, people with autism can become comfortable with the idea of not being perfect. This will help them to effectively deal with problems they face in life, without feeling distressed. At the NOW Group we offer a range of support for adults with disabilities in Northern Ireland. Through our social groups, young people and adults with learning disabilities and autism can thrive and develop essential skills that will be beneficial in all types of situations.


Gaming Groups for Adults with Autism in Belfast

The NOW Group are a social enterprise in Northern Ireland. We offer a range of services that help those with learning disabilities and autism to realise their full potential and achieve careers with a future. Each week we run exciting social groups for adults with learning disabilities, from our drama club and Fandom gaming club to Kidnap and Thrive. Here participants can meet at our HQ in Belfast City Centre to socialise and have fun! For participants based in other areas across Northern Ireland we also have a range of social groups based online so they can still get involved. For more information on our social groups and how to get involved, get in touch with our Social Group Co-Ordinator Anna Nelson today by emailing anna.nelson@nowgroup.org.



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