While there are many complaints about Pokémon Go from its criticizers (as happens with everything that becomes wildly popular), one mom is absolutely overjoyed about the fact that her son plays it. So, why does she love it so much?
New York mom Lenore Koppelman’s son Ralphie was diagnosed with hyperlexia and autism when he was 2. Because of the game, however, Ralphie has been interacting with other people more–which has made a huge impression on Koppelman. She even went to Facebook to talk about it, writing about how she and family friends have noticed a difference:
“I finally introduced Ralphie to Pokemon Go tonight… This thing is AMAZING. After he caught his first one at the bakery, he was shrieking with excitement. He ran outside to catch more. A little boy saw him and recognized what he was doing. They immediately had something in common.
He NEVER wants to go to the playground at night, because it’s out of his usual routine. He is normally SO RIGID about his routine. But tonight he was happy to change things up, and do it! We were in shock!”
She also told “KidSpot” that he makes a lot more eye contact now, which he normally doesn’t do:
“He does look certain people in the eye. People he is really comfortable with. But strangers? Not very often. Kids he doesn’t know well? Almost never. But when he is playing Pokemon Go, for some reason, his usual rules simply don’t apply.”
This change in behavior is also apparent even when Ralphie isn’t playing the game, which is what’s more incredible–Koppelman noted that her son spoke to their pharmacist for the first time:
“The pharmacist leaned in and whispered, ‘that is the most he has ever said to me… ever! And I’ve known him since he was a baby.'”
While screen time and games can be a distraction for a lot of kids, it can also have unintended positive affects for kids, especially those with disabilities and special needs. As Koppelman puts it herself best:
“My autistic child is socializing. Talking to people. Smiling at people. Verbalizing. Participating in pragmatic speech. With total strangers. Looking up at them. Sometimes even in the eye. Laughing with them. Sharing something in common. This is AMAZING.”
It is indeed amazing. Read the rest of the post below:
Bracing Myself Against My Son’s Severe Mental Illness
Mayim Bialik: Why I Support This Mental Health Organization & You Should Too
Why This Rabbi Uses Martial Arts to Help Kids with Cancer