I am going to admit it – I’ve been playing Pokemon Go this week while walking my dogs.
For me, because of my social anxiety, it can be hard to motivate myself to leave the house. When I do leave the house I almost always look away from any stranger who tries to catch my glance.
I’ve only been playing for about 5 days, but in general I feel like my health (mental and physical) is better than it has been in a long time. Having a destination goal while on a walk about town encourages me to walk more quickly and pushes me to walk further. I’ve walked a lot of miles this week. I am even thinking about fixing my bicycle. 🙂
I am NOT a social person by any stretch of the imagination, but as I’ve been out and about town I see other adults (and kids) with their phones in the official Pokemon Go position making flicking motions.
We smile at each other and wave our phones. For the first time since we’ve lived in our home I am talking to and making eye contact with our neighbors. There is a feeling of connectedness, that many Aspies seek but have a hard time finding.
People all over seem to be sharing similar experiences while “non-believers” refuse to even give Pokemon Go a try. Something from my childhood, 20 years later, and still bringing me joy – while making me feel young again.
Because I am adult – I am allowed to wander as far as I want, but I’ve already almost been late to work because I had to push myself just a little further to get to that next Pokestop. Playing this game has been amazing for me, but like many Aspies, I’ve got an urge to wander that developed at a very young age.
I can imagine myself as a young Autistic playing Pokemon Go – walking forever without stopping. This brings me great worry for parents of young Aspies with wandering feet.
Parents of Aspie children – PLEASE do not turn your kids loose playing Pokemon Go even if you think your child will not wander off. I feel like this type of game might encourage children who have never wandered before to take off (while staring at their phones while not paying attention to the world around them).
Play Pokemon Go with your AS child – teach them to play WITHOUT staring at the screen. Make sure they are aware of there surroundings, re-emphasize NOT stepping into the street without putting the phone away first, and help them to understand clearly what boundaries are (if you are going to let your older child out to play).
I really do think this game has a lot of potential but parents may need to adjust a little bit to catch up.