Obstacles to Game Playing for the Developmentally Disabled

Game playing is a great tool for those with mental handicaps.
Game playing can be great for socialization and functional treatment for those with mental handicaps. However, many of the issues developmentally disabled people have playing games can get in the way of the many benefits that can be found through game playing. Those that suffer mental handicaps can use game playing as a great tool for stimulating memories, conversations, interests, and more. Game playing can provide a wonderful option for enjoying time with caregivers, relatives, and friends. It can improve cognitive function and help fine tune motor skills.
There are a number of benefits that come from those with developmental disabilities playing games; it has been shown to lessen problems of depression, boredom, and isolation, which are commonly associated with developmentally disabled. A game shared with a caregiver can offer moments of contact and enjoyment despite difficulty with communication, gross motor skills, and cognitive function.

Game playing offers benefits that fast moving television, and other forms of entertainment can not because they are often confusing and overwhelming to those with mental handicaps. However, it is important to understand the issues and obstacles facing the mentally handicapped, and find games suited to their abilities, providing a challenge for them, without adding to their frustration.

The best way to do this is to first understand the obstacles that make game playing a challenge, including:

1. Being easily overwhelmed by too much or quickly moving information. Games that require quick play, that have complex rules, or multiple pieces or goals can disorient and frustrate seniors with mental handicaps.

2. Difficulty understanding the world and making connections. This is a common issue for the mentally handicapped, and games that require the use of deep stratagem, long term play, and making obscure connections will not work.

3. Need more time to react- Because those with mental handicaps need more time to react, games can not be timed, or rushed.

4. Challenge invoking emotion- Games that require a lot of socialization and verbal communication are challenging at best.

5. Difficult cognitive function- Often those with developmental disabilities suffer from impaired cognitive function, which can make complex rules or games too difficult to enjoy.

6. Physical activity is challenging- Any game that requires repeated or frequent need for muscle control will not work.

7. “Learned helplessness” Over reliance on others. Many who suffer mental handicaps learn to be helpless and rely on others, games should be chosen based on whether or not the individual can play them without aid.

How can you overcome these obstacles and make regular game playing a part of life for those with physical and mental handicaps? By keeping those obstacles in mind and selecting games that do not require modifications or help, that have simple rules, or rules the player is already familiar with, that offer short playing times, and no need for physical prowess. These games should not require the holding of cards, the need for secrecy, or any kind of mental tracking or score keeping.

Where can you find games that fit the bill?
The R.O.S. Therapy System 

The R.O.S. Therapy System might just be the answer. It offers social interaction, increased levels of engagement and enjoyment, allows the person to feel self worth and pride at being able to accomplish something they may have thought impossible due to their disabilities, as well as provides an outlet for creative expression and fun.

What is the R.O.S. Therapy System? It is a game console with activity board inserts that can be switched out, allowing individualization of activities for developmentally disabled, elderly, and the like. It offers an easy to clean console and activity boards, large pieces for easy handling, and a variety of game options to meet all interests. 

Call us. We're here to help.
Help support this ad free blog by answering several questions about caregiving here. It will take just two minutes. 

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


Post a Comment