Our Autism Story – “More Than Just Minecraft”
Brahm started playing Minecraft this year! For those that may not know, Minecraft is a video game. We are ecstatic that our son is playing a video game! And here’s why…
Brahm’s older sister Helena started playing Minecraft, Roblox, and a few other video games, over a year ago. It was great for her – she was able to play virtually with her friends. Brahm didn’t have any interest at the time.
That all changed when school started this year. Brahm came home from school one day and asked if he could play Minecraft. He said the kids at school played Minecraft and he wanted to do it, too. We were blown away. Brahm has his own special interests and will generally only talk to others about his interests – he typically doesn’t engage in the interests of others. However, in this moment, not only did he notice others’ interest, but he also wanted to engage with them in the interest - This was huge from a socialization aspect!
As parents, we want to make sure our kiddos are happy. Over the past year, we noticed Brahm longing for friendships. Pandemic aside, this is one of the areas we worry about for Brahm. He is such a cool kid with so many amazing things to offer – we want to make sure he has great friendships surrounding him. It was a very exciting moment for us when Brahm wanted to connect with kids at school and recognized he could do it by playing Minecraft! And even more important, Brahm found he LOVED playing Minecraft – he discovered a ton of historical and war-themed worlds, as well as a “creative” mode where Brahm can simply destroy worlds - he loves this!
We set up Brahm with Minecraft and, more recently, Roblox. Roblox is great because multiple people can play together virtually at the same time. It also turned into a great opportunity for Brahm and Helena to play together. Helena not only showed Brahm how to play, but also connected him with herself and a couple of her friends so he has “buddies” to play with. She really can be a great big sister and we are so thankful for her amazing friends!
Beyond socialization benefits, these video games have also proved to be a great tool in improving Brahm’s hand-eye coordination. When Brahm first started playing Minecraft, he had a very difficult time using the controls. He was easily frustrated and his tablet was thrown more than a few times. Helena was wonderful and showed Brahm how to use the controls and tried her best to calm him so he could practice together with her. Well, her efforts paid off and Brahm now flies around the video games! Even the most seemingly “normal” activities in our house often have a hidden intent of helping Brahm reach just a little bit outside his comfort zone to see how much he can grow. And, our big man is nailing it!