Tag Archives: Autism spectrum

Information Night – RESCHEDULED

Sorry for the inconvenience, this evening has been postponed. Please email sarah@every1games.ca for additional information. 

Parents and neurodiverse youth/adults are invited to join Every1Games for an information night! Let’s learn from each other.

  • Where? George Brown College School of Design at 341 King St. E, Room 515
  • When? TBD!

Every1Games is dedicated to helping clients achieve their social, professional and technical skills development goals, but what does that mean? Founder and CEO of Every1Games, Sarah Drew, will be sharing information about Every1Games goals and leading a discussion to learn more about what you need and want. Meet staff, Visit our classrooms at George Brown College, and learn more about Every1Games autism approach and neurodiversity.

Please register below and let us know if you will be attending so that we  can prepare the appropriate amount of snacks! 🙂 If you have any questions you can contact us anytime!

Picture of E1G student leads discussion about Autism at Work

First Annual AFU Inspires an Autism Friendly Future

Everyone who registered to attend the  Autism Friendly Unconference was given the opportunity  to ask a question or suggest a topic so that Every1Games could address the most meaningful issues surrounding autism.  We had amazing feedback and can’t wait to do it again next year!

  • The list of topics addressed in this series was co-created, based on questions and topics submitted by  Autism Friendly Unconference registrants.
  • 14% of registrants self-identified as autistic and willing to discuss their experiences.
  • Most of the remaining registrants were people who supported someone on the spectrum either at home or work.

It was an awesome experience. So much new information and concepts! – Autism Friendly Participant

DMZ HouseKeeping PresentationDiscussions ranged from issues with funding processes and application criteria, to the representation of ASD in media. Participants were clear that Ontario’s support system needs improvement especially in the area of employment training and ASD sensitivity from co-workers, something we hope to address at the next AFU.  It was unanimous that employers need to be more knowledgeable.  The autistic youth at the event were very clear, asking employers for guidance and understanding, instead of doubt and low expectations.

These 20 topics listed below will help shape our discussions and together we can design an autism friendly future.

  1. Exploring Media Representation of People w/ASD
  2. Autism at School (Elementary)
  3. Autism at School (Secondary)
  4. Autism at School (Post-Secondary)
  5. High Functioning Autism at Work
  6. Life Planning; From Child to Adult
  7. Defining Social Success; The Morality of “Fitting In”
  8. Reducing Anxiety
  9. Non-Verbal Voices
  10. The Multiplicity of an Individuals Functioning Levels
  11. Social Skills Development
  12. Tips and Skills for Happiness
  13. The Language We Use
  14. Women and Autism
  15. Culturally Sensitive Support
  16. Autism and Videogames
  17. Using Interactive Media for Social Change
  18. Autistic Self Advocacy
  19. Funding
  20. Designing an Autism Friendly Future

picture of people engaged in conversation

It was the first time in my life being surrounded by other autistics. It was the first time in my life I saw myself reflected in a group of other people. It made me feel real, valid and loved. – Autism Friendly Participant

If autism is meaningful in your life, then we want to hear from you. If you’ve never even heard the word autism and stumbled upon this series, we also want to hear from you. So please share this with friends, family, neighbours and co-workers.

At the end of the day on Jan 11th, the Autism Friendly Unconference closed by asking the questions “What do you want from the Government, from educators, employers, and peers?, What does an autism friendly future look like?” Here is the link to a collaborative Google Doc that was created during the final session of the day, where we came together to discuss an Autism Friendly Future.

Thanks to the volunteer team from the UofT Autism Alliance who were taking notes in each session making it possible to share information from sessions you might have missed and to all who participated including our friends at the EDGE Lab, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Marathon Learning Materials, TAD’s Inc. and Autism Ontario.

We are looking forward to hearing from you as we begin Designing an Autism Friendly Future.  If you have questions please contact us anytime! Leave a comment, share videos, poems or what ever else you want to share to help your peers come to a better understanding of autism.

Cheers to an autism friendly future!

– Sarah Anne Drew

Every1Games Social Engagement Model

Collaborating is Key; OCE-SSHRC Video

We’ve officially applied to the OCE-SSHRC Social Entrepreneur Fellowship! Thank you Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone for all your support. Check out this video Every1Games submitted as part of our application to change the way we engage with autistic youth in our community!

About OCE
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the development of Ontario’s economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses. In partnership with industry, OCE co-invests to commercialize innovation originating in the province’s publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals.

In response to “Children with Autism More Prone to Video Game Addiction”

I came across an article today that inspired some good’ ol investigation. The article, put out by Medical Daily, is “Children with Autism More Prone to Video Game Addiction” by Ashik Siddique (04/2013)  and it concerned me. Medical daily argues “children and teenagers with ASD also had higher levels of “problematic video game use” according to the clinical measure, like getting angry when interrupted from games, spending more time on games than with friends and family, and having trouble stopping game play when there are other things to do.” *FACE PALM* Anyone who knows anything about autism knows that children and teenagers with ASD would be more likely to appear angry interrupted from an activity. Transitioning from one activity to another is difficult for people with Autism especially going from a mentally stimulating and social game, to (for example) a school assistant who tries to make you use crayons in a coloring book or otherwise undermines intelligence and capability. The issue here is defining problematic…if your everyday was typically chaos, with parents and workers consistently “making you do things you don’t want to do” wouldn’t you want to spend more time in a structured environment too?


Take Away For Parents; give your child fair warning that their game will be turned off at a specific time, so they can include the end time in their strategic game play making exiting the game easier.  Understanding what your child is playing is even better because you can set the end time based on more specific accomplishments; if you know that it will take 10 minutes to harvest X amount of wool in Minecraft  and you know what your child is trying to accomplish, you can say “turn off the game when you harvest x amount of wool” instead.

The Medical Daily article also says “though technology can be very helpful for young people with autism when used in certain circumstances, the research cautions that autistic gamers are at risk for video game addiction and added stress, as detailed recently in Wired.” So I looked into this Wired article too “For Gamers With Autism, Online Worlds a Cycle of Attraction and Fear” by Ryan Rigney (11/2012).  So…

1) this article that MD references actually has little to do with problematic gaming habits and instead chronicles the origins of Falstad Wildhammer being added to the World of Warcraft game only after a man with Aspergers pointed out to developers a design flaw; a plot hole.

2) I felt like  the writer had a definite disconnect or lack of understanding of autism considering his concerns regarded the “weird voice” of the man with Asperger’s in the videos. I always encourage all of my students to stand up and ask questions; there is no such thing as embarrassment at conventions! and if you are judging someone because of their voice it is your behaviour that we should be concerned about.

I also went ahead to look at the video on youtube.com to see if their was any general negativity surrounding the video and was pleasantly surprised that the top comment is “I am amazed that you dared to stand up in public and speak, with or without a functional disorder. We need more guys like you in this world, who see things that others miss. Aspbergers/autism is a blessing and a curse…”

3) it also included testimonies from people with autism in WoW who are benefiting from their time playing the game and user comments that are positive to boot (and of course missing from Medial Daily’s article).

Top Comments from Wired article;

“I’m autistic as well, and WoW gave me the opportunity to interact with other players in a safer environment, where social awkwardness is less of a hindrance.”

“I do not care about his autism, this guy is a pro. If he worked for the IRS doing tax audits, we would all be SCREWWEEDDD”

“At this day you saw a plot hole in WOW, in the future maybe it is you who will solve the problems of mankind.”

At Every1Games any sort of videogame “addiction” is understood more as a passionate behaviour and still taken very seriously. Our curriculum works to broaden perspectives of video games! We include an academic point of view, a developers point of view and a responsible consumers point of view. We encourage playing a variety of game genres and types, indie games and franchise, and to recognize where awesome gaming skills are beneficial to a potential career in games. Our life skills strategies remind participants that they can succeed in a career the same way they succeed in the game, with passion, strategic goals and determination (and patience to deal with a-holes too).

Thanks for reading!

Sarah Drew

Full articles;

  1. Wired: http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/11/autistic-gamers-autism/all/
  2. Medical Daily: http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/14722/20130417/children-autism-more-prone-video-game-addiction.htm#Glpfz3hfZrff1Ibg.99