Gaming For Growth: Reimagining Counseling for Folks on the Autism Spectrum

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Burden, Samuel
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an extremely common developmental disability, affecting just under 2% of the population in Canada (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2018). This population faces many of the same mental health struggles as neurotypical individuals, often at much higher rates, and yet accessing counseling often comes with a series of additional barriers due to the complexities of life on the Autism spectrum. As such there is a clear need for a deeper examination into the way we offer counseling to this oft-neglected segment of the population, and this capstone will attempt to address that need. In chapter one I will provide an in-depth examination of this problem and explain why the development of ASD-sensitive forms of therapy is necessary. In chapter two I will address the five forms of therapy most used when counseling clients with ASD, identifying their benefits and highlighting their drawbacks. Finally, in chapter three I will outline a new model of counseling for this population based around the popular roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons.
autism , counseling , Dungeons and Dragons , roleplaying games , group therapy , social skills , anxiety , depression
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess