Video games that can help improve skills for special needs children

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Video games often get a bad rap.

For kids with special needs though, they can actually help improve certain key skills.

The non-profit Common Sense Media reported for CNN recently, on the ways in which video games can enhance learning opportunities for children who have special challenges.

While there are games designed specifically for these children, mainstream gaming titles can also support your child’s learning. According to Common Sense Media, via CNN, “Mainstream games can boost a sense of independence and confidence in kids with special needs, provide the ability to ask for help, and let them challenge themselves.”

The key is finding the right ones.

Here are some suggestions:

Communication (games that promote visual storytelling, social modeling, and language patterns)

Cool School: Where Peace Rules, Mac, Windows – Helps kids practice conflict resolution.
Itzazoo, Windows – Kids’ drawings are animated and incorporated into a learn-to-read game.
Storybook Workshop, Nintendo Wii – Players take turns reading fairy tales aloud.

Motor Skills (games that encourage movement — from dancing to sports to drawing to handwriting)

Active Life: Magical Carnival, Nintendo Wii – Tests short-term memory, ability to follow instructions quickly
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, Microsoft Xbox 360, Xbox One – Kids will feel as though they’re actually manipulating and creating music
LetterSchool, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch – Letter writing with a three-step process

To see more game suggestions for different skills, check out the full article from Common Sense Media for CNN.com.

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