“Kinecting” with Autism…..

“Kinecting” with Autism…..

I’m a huge believer in using technology to help make our lives more manageable. When we got our tax return this year one of the things that we did was try to build a crash room. That didn’t go very well. When our bouncey house died we were unable to replace it due to being discontinued. The rest of the crash room pretty much fell apart after that.  We wanted something to capture the kids attention but at the same time keep them physically active.


Our kids LOVE video games. However, just because they LOVE them doesn’t mean they are able to play them. In Gavin’s case he is really good but gets REALLY frustrated and meltsdown. Elliott’s current obsession is video games. We do our best to limit them but we can also use them as a reward or incentive for good behavior.

We had gotten a Wii around Thanksgiving from Best Buy using a few gift cards and reward zone points I had been saving up.  I thought the kids would be able to interact a little easier then using a regular controller…WRONG….. That was a disaster.. It was WAY to frustrating for them…..  So we returned it and just sat on the store credit until tax return.  We first tried the PS3 with “Move”. While it “worked” better then the Wii….. it was still a problem because Emmett kept taking the controllers and was drawn to the “glowing” balls on the move controller like a moth to a flame. That didn’t work…..


So here is what we did. We switched to a Xbox 360 with Kinect. This has worked out AMAZINGLY well. There is no controller for Emmett to “take”. All of the kids can safely interact with the games. Even Emmett can play as you can see in the video. The kids are physically active and it has helped to work out some sensory related things. They can run, punch and kick…. it’s all part of the game. Even those with “motor issues”  seem to go well (Gavin). The Kinect is pretty forgiving as far as the movements go. After boxing or racing around a track (by running in place) the kids are exhausted. It also helps out with the whole eye hand coordination thing… The kids really enjoy it and Emmett can participate without “interfering” with his brothers.


This is really cool because he wants so badly to do what his brothers are doing and now he can… We still tightly manage the amount of time they spend but I really enjoy watching them ALL play together… It gives them a much needed sense of normalcy. Everyone needs to feel normal every once in a while…

Here is my little man, Emmett John boxing and then celebrating his win…


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