This is a sponsored post.
As a leader in the special needs software and assistive technology industry, VTree LLC Studios develops products to make a real difference in the lives of children and adults with special needs, enabling them to achieve a higher level of satisfaction in their lives.
To us, the most important part of our mission is to make learning fun.
The following article, “Sports Games Boots Tim Mather’s Quality of Life” by John M. Matthews illustrates the impact VTree’s games have had on the learning ability of Tim Mather. Tim is an autistic adolescent who plays VTree games both for fun and for educational purpose.
Sports Games Boosts Tim Mather’s Quality of Life
by John M. Williams
Seventeen-year-old Tim Mather sits in front of a computer. He waits patiently for the alarm clock near his desk to ring. His daily routine is to wait until the alarm rings ay 9:00 a.m. When the alarm goes off, he puts on his headphones, turns on the computer and waits for it to boot up. When it does, he clicks on the My Football icon and stares at the screen until he hears, ‘EA Sports. It’s in the game.”A smile appears on his face as the picture of a football player appears. He can choose to play either a child’s version or an adult’s version of My Football Game.
“I love action,” says Tim who resides in Northern, VA.
“Tim will sit for hours every day and play My Football, My Golf Game, and other computer games with movement,” says his father, Michael.
Tim’s father is overwhelmed with joy that Tim has found an activity that occupies many hours of his time during the day. Tim is autistic.
When speaking to people he seldom looks at them. He rarely starts a conversation. He prefers being alone.
When it comes to playing computer games with movement, Tim is proactive. He is a fanatic for repetition.
Fifteen minutes after he starts My Football Game, an alarm goes off. Tim knows it is time to go to another activity. Tim’s 20-year-old brother, Lucifer, picks passing. Tim’s face lights up as he practices the quarterback passing to different receivers. He does this by pressing the following keys S, R, F. He points to the football in the air and says, “I throw the ball.” There is a triumphant look on his face.
“Tim can associate causal relationships. I believe he thinks that since the ball can only be thrown when he pushes a key that he’s the one throwing,” says Lucifer, who is certain that the different activities the game offers improves Tim’s hand-eye coordination and concentration. Tim plays two different drills daily. He is good at pushing the keys to produce action.
Fifteen minutes after starting this exercise an alarm goes off, and Lucifer shows Tim how to exit this activity and skipping level 2, they proceed to Level 3 which is a 20 minute game, comprised of four five minute quarters, between opposing teams. Today the teams are the Chicago Sailors and the Indianapolis Romans.
As Tim and Lucifer prepare to start the game, Tim’s demeanor changes. He removes his headphones and listens to the crowd’s noise. He is often disturbed by loud, continuous noises. The simulated crowd noises don’t bother him.
My Football Game and My Golf Game were created so children and adults with disabilities could be included in social activities that enrich their lives.
“I am so happy to learn about Tim’s success with the games,” said Chuck Bergen, president of VTree, LLC, and creator of both games.
In expressing their opinions about the benefits of sports’ to Tim, Michael Mather says, “These games provide Tim with intellectual stimulation. He needs the stimulation.”
Tim’s response is, “I feel better about me.’ He pauses and adds, “I feel I am a winner.”
Have you been affected by someone with special needs? What educational tools have helped in learning cognition?
About Jennifer Ockelmann
Jennifer works with Huddler.com, Mothering’s Advertising Representative, where she acts as a liaison between Mothering.com and our sponsors. She was raised by an attachment parent and is passionate about showcasing sponsors who match the values of the community. Jennifer grew up in California, and she loves swing dancing, Spanish food and the beach. She can be reached at Jennifer@Mothering.com.