Welcome to Autism Games

Small boy around 4 or 5 years old look content while squished between blue beanbag chairs with his mom on the side pushing down on beanbag sandwich

Image: Beanbag sandwich, a Steven E. Gutstein game

This site is full of delightful games:

The games here were designed to make sense and be enjoyable to youngsters with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). They may be useful to children with other developmental delays as well but they have a track record with children who have ASD. Each game is designed with a bit more structure and is more predictable than is common in the play of children who do not have neurological challenges. These games include intentionally chosen sensory elements meaning that like the child being squeezed between these bean bag chairs in the picture, there is something that feels or sounds or looks satisfying in many of these games. The Beginning Level Games in particular are designed to entice children into social play even when they have had little to no experience with social play. The more complex games have worked to engage and delight older children who already have more developed language and social skills. These games were created to to teach one or more important skill in a genuinely playful manner but they can be played with no specific objective beyond the pleasure of play.

There are videos provided for many of the games so that parents, speech language pathologists, teachers and other play partners can see exactly how to play the games. Small details often really matter to children with autism so watch the videos with an eye for details. Some of the videos can be used as a video model, which means that you show the video to a child so that the child knows how to play the game before you begin. However, given the importance of small details, many children with ASD could need a video made in your environment, with your toys and maybe even with your play partners in order to learn the game from a video. Cell phone cameras make this easy to accomplish!

For many of these games, there are tips and strategies that will help the play partner understand what skills the game might teach, how to initially teach the game, how to play and modify the game in order to make it interesting to your child and keep in interesting over time.

If you are visiting this site, chances are, you spend time with a wonderful child who has ASD or some other developmental challenge and you are looking for more and better ways to play together. It is for you that I created Autism Games!

Happy Playing

Tahirih