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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Laser Tag Teamwork

Laser Tag is fun and educational for our child with Aspergers. Computer focused on games like World of War Craft, our son understands the strategy of winning with the minimum amount of social skill needed. Laser Tag offers him an outdoor alternative: he gets to play a game of strategy, does not have to socialize if he doesn’t want to BUT does need to participate with his team to reach their goal of staying alive. Laser Tag also offers a degree of addition, subtraction and problem solving with working out rounds of ammunition, numbers of lives available and time available to complete a team strategy.

The major benefit to our son is clearly the teamwork. He has to stay engaged with other team members (without talking to them), watch their moves and watch their back for them. They in turn watch him and together the team advances toward victory.

A game of war? Yes. Violent in concept? Yes. More violent than the computer games he plays? No. Laser Tag works on people helping people and teams mixing during break times to ensure everyone are safe, together and debriefed from the game element. It is clear that Laser Tag is a game. Real life is real and violence intolerable.

Violence is something I work against professionally and I have managed to stay away from taking boy to Laser Tag because of my fear of finding the game unsuitable and therefore spoil his love of playing. Today he really wanted me to come and watch him and step father, so, I attended for the first time. I LOVE IT! My son was so happy. His strategic mind worked overtime. He was thinking about other people’s moves. He empathized when teammates were out and he took his losses with good humor.

He exercised without having a melt down. He played over a four-acre area of thick scrub. He ran, he crouched, he crawled, and he hid. He had a ball. He was as social as kids with Aspergers can be and he had no one telling him he was a psycho. In play, his frustrated aggression was acceptable, warranted and condoned. He belonged. How wonderful for his self-esteem.

Laser Tag activities will definitely become part of our home school curricula. Physical Education and Math eat your heart out! Laser Tag was the best damn Math lesson I have ever had and the exercise was more fun than jogging around the same old block, seeing the same old sights three times a week.

Laser Tag – sign us up for membership. We are going to play as a family team.

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This blog is no longer kept. I am instead blogging only to Imaginif Child Protection became Serious Business