Dave in boys who had normal intelligence

Dave is a 10-year-old boy
in 5th grade. Dave was diagnosed with autism when he clocked
two-year old. At one-year old Dave is a loving boy with a very beautiful eye
and smile, he can communicate can communicate with words such as mommy and
dada. All these stopped entirely before Dave’s second birthday. He stopped
playing with other kids, doesn’t make eye contact, and doesn’t get involve in
imitating or repeating speeches. By the time he started school at age six, Dave
was a withdrawn boy that interact only with individuals from his immediate
family; mum, dad and 4-year old Eva (Dave’s sister).  At a very tender age of 5, Eva had become a
caregiver for her brother at home and later at school. Changing grades/classes
became a laborious task, because relationship with new special teachers are always
tumultuous. Dave became engrossed in his toys which he often time arrange in a
repetitive order, by age nine school had become detestable to him. According
to Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1 out of 68 children born in the
United States with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and most of them have
similar story as Dave’s.

Autism is a brain
development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and
communication, restricted and repetitive behaviors, physical clumsiness all
starting before the child is three years old. Hans Asperger, a pediatrician identified
a high functional spectrum of autism. He observed autism-like behaviors in boys
who had normal intelligence and language development.  Individuals with Asperger’s
syndrome exhibit milder characteristics compared to classic autism, they have normal
to above-average intelligence but typically have difficulties with social
interactions. Renowned scientists and inventors have been associated with these
conditions. Amadeus Mozart, a famous musician; Albert Einstein, a renowned
physicist; Temple Grandlier, an inventor; Nikolas Tesla, the man behind modern
electricity were all believed to have a degree of severity of autism spectrum.

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Studies have shown that
that individuals with these conditions does not necessarily have impaired
intelligence but that the impaired social interaction impacted on the learning
capability. The center for education and human services suggested that people
with autism are above average in analysis and pattern based systems such as
science, and they are also often sensitive to sensory simulations.  However, the enrollment of students with these
conditions is not encouraging. The transition from high school to college
proves challenging for individuals with autism. According to Autism Speaks,
less than one-third of autistic student that graduated from high school attend
college. Some other researches show that less than twenty-percent of autistic
college students graduated because most autistics student are uncomfortable
with college learning environment. Furthermore, only 32 percent of high school
graduates with autism find paying work within two years of graduating high
school this is because this condition makes learning a very difficult task.

For a child with autism
spectrum disorder to attain his/her potentials despite learning challenges
there is need to devise methods through which such a child and adult can adapt
to learning.  American Psychologist Society (APS) recommended that learning package developed for
individuals with autistic syndrome must be built on the persons interest, offer
predictable schedules, teach tasks on series of simple steps, engaged the
person’s attention in structured activities. Gaming, especially video games
present opportunity mitigates these challenges. Games can be developed using
the applied behavioral analysis (ABA) principle and other proven techniques
that has been developed to help autistics students.  Gamification is the application typical
element of games into other areas of endeavors. Video games can create virtual
environment and also create virtual characters through computer animated
figures thereby simulating a real-world scenario. This can help individuals
with autistics syndrome to get accustomed to rules of social interactions. The
virtual world created in computer games can be designed to allow an autistics
individual to communicate with animated characters, make necessary eye
contacts, express emotions, and learn educational and vocational contents with
the help of virtual tutor characters; this will eliminate learning challenges
posed by change of teachers associated with grade change in contemporary
schooling. Studies have shown that autistic kids spend more hours playing video
games, learning activities on computers and tablets this can be attributed to
potential or these gadgets to produce repetitive engagements. Social emotional
activities such as privacy circle, self-esteem mirror, gratitude garland,
emotional scavenger hunt etc. can be synthesized with gaming.  Gaming can help individuals with autistic
syndrome to achieve their potential both academically and professionally.
However, games designers should relate extensively with autistics condition and
treatment specialist for guidance because if not adequately standardized such
gaming effort might also create social interaction setbacks. Especially, addiction
to game might inhibit desired improvement in real world interaction, when
virtual world becomes real world realities for individuals with autistics
syndrome.