Pokémon Go has quickly become the latest craze. People are playing the game at work, when they're eating lunch, and while they are at the beach. Some are even playing it in hospital delivery rooms.
At first, playing Pokémon Go might not seem like it has many benefits apart from the obvious — like keeping you amused and giving Pokémasters bragging rights — but take a deeper look, and you'll find the game actually has some positive effects. People have reported ways Pokémon Go has actually helped build family bonds, and even helped those who sometimes find social situations difficult.
Lenore Koppelman recently wrote about how Pokémon Go is helping her son, Ralphie.
In a heartwarming Facebook post, Koppelman explains that 6-year-old Ralphie was diagnosed with autism, and that social situations can sometimes be hard for him. Now, Pokémon Go is helping make things easier.
Thanks to the suggestion of my fellow-autism-mama friend and fellow body painter Ren Allen, I finally introduced Ralphie to Pokemon Go tonight. She was right. 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 asked Ralphie how many he had caught. Ralph didn't really answer him, other than to shriek "POKEMON!!!!" and jump up and down with excitement while flapping his arms. Then the little boy showed him how many HE had caught (over 100!) and Ralph said "WOWWWW!" and they high-fived. I almost cried. Then he saw his second Pokemon, sitting on Jenny Lando's front step. He caught that one and was so excited he shrieked again and began to jump up and down. Then she came out and he chatted with her about it, too! Then she pointed out to him that there was a lot of Pokemon activity at the playground. He begged to go. 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! And when we got there, other kids ran up to him to hunt for Pokemon together. He was interacting with other kids. Holy crap!!!! I didn't know if I should laugh, or cry. Then he wanted to go find more, and we walked down 30th Ave. Adults were also hunting Pokemon, and these total strangers were giving him advice like "There's one right around this corner, buddy! Go get it!" and he would run off laughing to get it. He would even look up at them and say "THANK YOU!" and run off! WOW!!!!! 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. <3 <3 <3 Thank you Ren Allen, for suggesting this. You were right. And thank youNintendo!!! ASD mama's DREAM!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 I love you! :D #PokemonGO#gottacatchemall
Koppelman recently posted a photo of Ralphie beaming while playing the game.
Ralphie may not have caught 'em all yet, but it seems that he has already found a winning way to play the game. He's having fun, making connections, and having a good time interacting with people. And that is even better for a parent to see than seeing him catch another Squirtle.
(H/T: Huffington Post)