Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a range of mental disorders of the neurodevelopmental type. Individuals on the spectrum often experience difficulties with social communication and interaction; and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities. Autism spectrum disorders include a wide variety of characteristics. Some of these include behavioral symptoms which widely range from slow development of social and learning skills to difficulties creating connections with other people. Other behavioral characteristics include abnormal responses to sensations including sights, sounds, touch, and smell, and problems keeping a consistent speech rhythm. These problems displayed by those with autism spectrum disorders typically influence development, language, and social competence. Game-based interventions that involves technology have shown to facilitate motivation and learning process in children with autism spectrum disorders. There are no definitive statistics on the prevalence of gaming among autistic children, but it has been found that 41.4% of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder spend the majority of their free time playing video games versus 18% of youths in the general population. These numbers underscore the importance of taking a look at the amount of time spent on video games by autistic gamers and paying attention to any potential side effects. Video game addiction and excessive time spent playing games can result in health and behavioral issues, such as sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, irritableness, and several other problems. On the other hand, video games are viewed as a safe space by some autistic people, in addition to their behavioral and entertainment value. This study aimed to determine the effect of video games on the behavior of children with an autism spectrum disorder.
The research method was semi-experimental with pre-test-post-test design with two experimental and control group. The statistical population consisted of all children aged 7-15 years old with autism in Arak city in 2018, of which 30 selected using an available sampling method. They randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group participated in the video game witch names Minecraft during the fifteen weeks (2 sessions each) and each session for 1 hour and no intervention performed in the control group. The research tool was the Rutter Behavioral Assessment (Parent Form). Data were analyzed using covariance analysis by SPSS-23 software.
Testing the hypothesis of the research, about the effectiveness of video games on the behavior of children with an autism spectrum disorder, showed that performing video games could have a significant effect (p=0.002) on improving the behaviors of children with autism spectrum dysfunction.
Based on the findings, performing video games improves the behavior of children with autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, video games are recommended for these children.
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