New Game Helps Young ASD Boy See the World Differently
Dylan is a special little guy diagnosed with autism very young. He sees the world through a different colored pair of sunglasses every day. Days are spent trying to take what he sees in his mind and comprehend it in the real world. Imagine always missing one piece when you are trying to put together a puzzle, the frustration, confusion, the constant feeling of disorder. Dylan finds these struggles in most activities he does.
Through all this, I found only a few games or activities he can get beyond these obstacles. Magik Play is an iPad building block game that has accomplished something unique for Dylan. First, he started with finding shapes, but these shapes are hidden in your everyday objects, like a ramp for a bike. Dylan learned and understood his first abstract thought; a ramp is not just a ramp but a shape that I can hold feel and see the direct impact. Dylan has struggled seeing life for anything more than black and white (a square is square). Magik Play has never frustrated him like most activities. Next, Dylan made a simple house with blocks to match the house on the iPad. We went outside later that day, he looked back at our home and expressed mommy our house needs two squares. He put what he learned in the game into his outside world.
The most incredible thing Dylan has gained from playing Magik Play is his first understanding of cause and effect. On the game, he built an escape route for the bird and then knocked it down so the bad guy couldn’t get to his bird. Dylan was proud he saved the bird. Later that same day, Dylan stated very profoundly, “I hug you, you’re happy, I hit you, you’re sad.” For the first time, he truly understood his actions had a direct impact on the world around him!
Dylan has also improved drastically on his fine motor skills, the ability to manipulate shapes, standing on end, laying flat, or turned sideways. In the beginning, he dropped them; now he can stack turn and do anything he sets his heart to. Magik Play has made a direct improvement in Dylan’s skills and increased his ability to see the world differently.
Magikbee is an education technology startup based in Braga, Portugal with an ambition to provide kids with fun and educational ways to use digital devices. Their first product, Magik Play, is a “phygital” kids toy that seamlessly connects traditional building blocks with tablets in a series of fun puzzles and games.
This article was featured in Issue 72 – Sensory Solutions For Life