As summer starts winding down, your school age children are getting back into the swing of routine. If you have a child of special needs, such as Asperger’s Syndrome, you are aware that routine is especially important. Another of their characteristics is they get extremely focused on at item. If they are a video game aficionado, you know they could spend their day and nights playing video games. As a parent, you know moderation is key and you want to make sure that this hobby doesn't cause permanent damage to their young bodies and minds.
There has been an international report of a condition called “Game Boy Back”. A pair of Dutch doctors who specialize in orthopedics have identified this condition to children and young adults of various ages who had visited them with complaints of back pain. Their symptoms were usually associated with much older people. The doctors found this pain was linked to their posture; the patients were hunched over any game console. They were too intent on playing to notice that hours were going by and they are not moving.
Another phenomenon is the players’ emotions are vested in the challenges of the game so much so if they don’t accomplish the task, they become extremely agitated out in the real world.
Since you are painfully aware that Aspies have strong laser focus ability and taut emotions, you many think to ban video games for the rest of their natural lives. However, one good solution is to insist they take frequent breaks. They can set up a timer or alarm to alert them to stretch and change their sitting positions so they are not putting so much strain on their lower backs. Also these rest periods will snap them out of their deep concentration and give their brains time to unwind. Breathing exercises for both physical and mental relaxations can be applied as well.
By being made aware that if they can’t reach the next level, there is always another day to save the platoon, the princess or the world. Also, you may even surprise yourself and find these techniques useful in your own day to day tasks.