Nintendo Wii and Autism

Looking at Myomancy’s logs I can see that quite a few people are coming here searching for information on the Nintendo Wii and autism. So far Myomancy has only incidentally connected the two subjects. However it seems that a lot parents are ahead of me and wish to know whether the Wii is suitable for autistic children.

The difficultly in answering this question is that autism covers a very wide range of problems. From high function autistics to adults who still haven’t become fully toilet trained. With such a wide range of abilities, one answer cannot fit all cases. However at least one therapist is using a Wii in the therapy for an autistic boy.

Using the Wii is straightforward and may be more natural to a child than a traditional console because a lot of games are played by moving the whole arm rather than pressing small buttons. Selecting the right game is key as there is a wide range in their complexity. Games aimed at younger children are more likely to suit an autistic child as they will expect a lower level of hand/eye coordination. I’ve added a section to the Myomancy Store specifically for Wii games and Autism featuring games aimed at younger children.

I haven’t tried any of the games in the store and I don’t have a great deal of personal experience one-on-one with autistic children so it is very hard for me to give good advice. So I ask everyone who finds this page to comment below on your experience with the Wii and autism. Has your autistic child had the chance to play with a Wii? What game was it and how did they cope with it? If you’ve not yet tried a Wii, what questions would you like answering? With luck we can build up a guide to parents of autistic children and the Nintendo Wii.

9 Comments

  • Cáit says:

    I have a 5 and a half year old brother with autism but witha mental age of three. I was thinking of getting him a nentendo wii for Christmas but i was unsure of what games to get. I hav heard that nentendo wiis are a great success with autistic children and i was wondering if anyone has come across a game that might be good for children of his age group.

    Thank you!!

  • Candace says:

    my son is 7 high functioning) and loves the wii

    i think it might drive others a little nuts how much he loves it

    he loves to make miis

    the wii balance board is his favorite

    i wish they would make wii fit for kids though i think it would be more realistic he gets frustrated with some of the strength, balance games because he has 7 yo autitic muscles

  • Jackie says:

    My 10 year old Autistic son loves the Wii bowling game in particular and picked-up on it pretty easily. He recently bowled a score of 211. And we are using this opportunity to reinforce this activity by incorporating real life bowling which he also loves as a routine family activity. It is really nice to see him have an outlet/hobby that he enjoys. It’s also a great way mainstream him with other children at play which can be sometimes difficult. Most importantly it is a wonderful way for him to feel a sense of accomplishment and boost his ego, not to mention the great benefit of building eye-hand coordination.

  • cindy says:

    i just want to say that the wii is the best thing i got for my autism son and he is 9 years old he loves playing all kinds of games on it the one he likes the most is batmen legos he bet the game a week after i got the game there is games for the wii that i dont know how to play and he will show me how to do it if anyone has a child with autism and dont have the wii i would go get one because it helps them learn alot of things

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What are your personal experiences with ADD / ADHD, autism or dyslexia?