Go Go Games: Matching Adventures on the iPad for Children with Autism

[prMac.com] San Francisco, California – Go Go Games, an educational app launched by three graduate researchers out of Stanford University’s School of Education and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school), has been released today for the iPad. Go Go Games is a suite of casual games for preschool and elementary-aged children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The app helps players to learn to quickly notice multiple features of the objects in the world around them – a specific perceptual skill that is essential to learning and comes naturally to most children, but is known to be a common difficulty for those with ASD.

Go Go Games uses the techniques of Pivotal Response Therapy (PRT), an evidence-based behavioral intervention to target several common challenges for learners with ASD, including perceptual ability. After initial instruction from parents or teachers, players can independently build this critical skill by maneuvering trucks, trains, and spaceships through three different matching adventures: Build-A-Train, Wheels & Roads, and Out of this World.

“We designed the game to feel more like play but work like therapy. Go Go Games is simple and fun, though behind the scenes each matching sequence is carefully selected to provide just the right amount of challenge based on the player’s ability to notice and respond to increasingly complex features,” said Alexis Hiniker, Co-Creator of Go Go Games.

It is typically recommended that children with ASD receive between 25 and 40 hours of therapy per week – a standard that is impossible to meet for many families. A new study reports that 41% of children with Autism spend “most of their free time” playing video games, dramatically more than the 18% of children nationwide who fall into this same high-user category. As an independent play-based intervention, Go Go Games incorporates core elements of ABA therapies to help parents and teachers bridge this gap and introduce additional therapy time in a fun, naturalistic setting.

“My son loves Go Go Games and he’s so excited when he plays it,” said Nikii Finch-Morales, Director of Wildlife at CuriOdyssey and mother of a 7-year old with ASD. “From the time he started playing the game about a month ago until now, his progress has been incredible. You can see him stop, focus, and look carefully to find the correct match. He really pays attention, which is something that he didn’t do well before.”

“Our students are really engaged while playing Go Go Games, especially because of the intuitive touch interface, fun graphics, and audio/visual reinforcements. For many of our kids with ASD, paying attention to details and being able to discern important information from a background is a tough skill, which the game addresses,” said Susan Rose, Director of Arbor Bay School. “We’re looking forward to using this portable learning tool in our classrooms.”

Go Go Games includes:
* 3 different matching games to support a broad range of children on the autism spectrum
* 6 levels of difficulty to help a child to observe, scan, focus, and categorize
* Touch-sensitivity and responsiveness for players with fine motor challenges
* Positive rewards with verbal praise and delightful sounds to boost confidence; stress-free gaming experience with no penalties
* Original artwork, music, real voice files, and colorful animations

About Arbor Bay School:
Located in San Carlos, CA, Arbor Bay School increases opportunities for children in grades K-8 with mild to moderate learning differences to achieve academic and social success. We achieve this through highly individualized and specialized instruction, combined with speech and occupational therapy in a small classroom environment.

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 19.2 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Through the end of October, Go Go Games 1.0 is offered at the introductory price of only $0.99 USD (Reg $1.99) or equivalent amount in other currencies and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category.Go Go Games 1.0
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Go Go Games was created by Joy Wong Daniels, Alexis Hiniker, and Heidi Williamson as a Stanford University master’s thesis for the Learning, Design and Technology Program in August 2012. Copyright (C) 2012 Go Go Games Studios. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

###Joy Wong Daniels
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