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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
Can Videogaming Benefit Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

New Rochelle, NY, September 5, 2012—According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 88 children in the U.S. has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a broad group of neurodevelopmental disorders. Children and adolescents with ASD are typically fascinated by screen-based technology such as videogames and these can be used for educational and treatment purposes as described in an insightful Roundtable Discussion published in Games for Health Journal: Research Development, and Clinical Applications, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free on the Games for Health Journal website.

Individuals with ASD have difficulty with communication and social interaction, but they often have particularly good visual perceptual skills and respond well to visual stimuli. Videogames offer opportunities for successful learning, motivation to improve skills such as planning, organization, and self-monitoring, and reinforcement of desired behaviors without the need for direct human-to-human interaction.

Autism is a growing area of interest for the gamification community, and Games for Health Journal continues to explore various aspects of how videogame technology can be beneficial in treating this complex spectrum of disorders. In a previous issue of the Journal, the article "Comparing Energy Expenditure in Adolescents with and without Autism while Playing Nintendo® Wii™ Games" described how gaming might help individuals with ASD increase their daily physical activity to prevent obesity.

“Children and young adults with ASD have unique opportunities to capitalize on their interest and aptitude in videogames as a resource to develop desired social behaviors and life skills and to increase their physical activity,” says Games for Health Journal Editor-in-Chief Bill Ferguson, PhD, who moderated the Roundtable.

About the Journal
Games for Health Journal breaks new ground as the first journal to address this emerging and increasingly important area of health care. The Journal provides a bimonthly forum in print and online for academic and clinical researchers, game designers and developers, health care providers, insurers, and information technology leaders. Articles explore the use of game technology in a variety of clinical applications. These include disease prevention and monitoring, nutrition, weight management, and medication adherence. Gaming can play an important role in the care of patients with diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive, mental, emotional, and behavioral health disorders.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking and Telemedicine and e-Health. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available online at the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. website.