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How Can Gaming Benefit Special Needs Early Childhood Education?
We all know that gaming can be great fun and a valuable tool for those with special needs. This article will explore how gaming can benefit special needs children’s education.
Gone are when gamers tended to be teenage nerds lurking in darkened bedrooms for hours. These days, gaming is a hugely popular pastime across the globe. And in some instances, it can also be tremendously beneficial to kids with special educational needs and disabilities.
A special educational needs solicitor will be readily available to anyone who feels their kids aren’t getting the care they require at school. However, it is essential that parents and teachers work together to try and avoid this from happening. As not only can the fallout be brutal for all parties involved, but also expensive.
One of the ways teachers can help kids with disabilities make the most out of their education is through gaming. And so, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at how gaming could benefit your child. Take a look.
What are Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
This term is used to describe those with a variety of conditions and disabilities which can present physical and mental challenges in everyday life, including at school. Such conditions include Down’s Syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy.
Sadly, children with these conditions can often feel excluded when it comes to education, as they may not be able to grasp concepts as quickly as other children.
Special Needs Early Childhood Education: Focus
Many children with special needs tend to have difficulty concentrating and focusing during their learning. In many cases, playing video games requires a level of attention for a player to progress within the game.
In addition to being fun, these games can help train special needs children to focus for extended periods, which can then be applied to their learning.
Modern games allow players to connect with others worldwide at the click of a button. For special needs children who struggle to engage with others daily, this can help alleviate a sense of isolation and make them more accustomed to interacting with others. Helping kids communicate more comfortably online can positively impact real-life social skills.
While there are endless types of video games on the market these days, most of them require a level of hand-to-eye coordination. For children with poor motor skills, these games offer an opportunity to strengthen their coordination while enjoying the game and interacting with others. This can very much help with later life when the person may have to complete several different tasks during any given day, which require a higher level of motor skill.
Characteristics that may be prevalent in a child who has autism is a fear of failure and change. However, not getting things right and having to redo levels are part of the parcel with gaming.
Moreover, this can be a valuable tool in making a child with special needs feel more comfortable about the idea of making an error. Within their game, they learn that they can start again.
Games can also help kids feel more comfortable with new situations and environments in real life. As within the education system, changes in routine or environment – for example, a shift in the classroom- can cause a special needs child considerable stress. Moreover, if they get used to new beginnings and changes in a game, they may feel more reassured when they experience this in real life.
Although many games are free of charge, other more popular ones cost money. Some children with special needs may struggle to understand even simple finances. And this, for them, can feel incredibly frustrating.
However, for a child who enjoys these games and wants to try different ones, this can be a good way of helping them to understand the concept of money and how it works. For example, the child may be required to complete chores for pocket money or gaming credits.
Special Needs Early Childhood Education: Gaining Life Skills
While spending too much time playing games is not healthy for anybody, these games can be special tools for children with special needs. Gaming can add an essential social layer to these children’s lives by helping them navigate a world that can happen sometimes and hostile.
When played in moderation, video games can help a child with special needs adjust to things they might fight as more of a challenge in school compared to other kids. For instance, some kids with disabilities may struggle with moving classes or receiving feedback on schoolwork. However, games can help make kids feel comfortable with the idea of change or failure earlier, making it easier to process in school.