In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the latest studies on Autism, gaming, and trans young adults. We will unveil little known facts to answer some of the questions that people are asking about these topics, such as:
What is the correlation between Autism, gaming, and gender diversity in young adults?
What challenges do autistic gamers and transgender young adults face?
How can we help autistic transgender young adults feel comfortable in their own skin?
We hope that by the end of this blog post, you will gain a greater understanding of these important topics and be a better community member. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What is Autism?
Autism is NOT a mental illness. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which is usually and simply referred to as Autism, is a lifelong developmental disorder that influences a person's social behaviour and capability to interact with their environment. According to the figures released by EPIC, an organisation dedicated to helping people challenged with disabilities to find and maintain employment, 1 in 70 Australians have Autism.
What does it mean to be transgender?
Transgender people are NOT confused. They know exactly who they are. What they feel inside does not match what they see on the outside. This mismatch between gender identity and biological sex can cause a lot of distress, anxiety, and confusion.
What is Gaming?
Gaming is a form of entertainment that can be enjoyed alone or with friends and family.
Nowadays, video games are extremely complex and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. In Australia, the gaming industry, which took off in the 80s, is now worth $2.96 billion annually as of 2017. According to statistics from IGEA, 61% of Australians are fond of playing video games, and as a matter of fact, video game devices can be found in 91% of Australian homes.
Video games can be used as a form of escapism, to relieve boredom or stress, or just as a way to have some fun. However, there is a growing concern that people are becoming too addicted to gaming, and it is having a negative impact on their lives. Due to this, the World Health Organisation classified “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition in 2018. This means that gamers who are addicted to this activity can suffer from impaired control over their gaming. In addition to that, we have listed some of the negative impacts of video games on individuals, namely:
It can be addictive and lead to social isolation.
It can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
It can cause eye strain and headaches.
It can trigger anxiety and depression.
On the other hand, there are also many positive effects of gaming, such as the development of problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and social interaction. In fact, recent studies have shown that video games can even have therapeutic benefits for those suffering from mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
Investigating the Correlation between Autism, Gaming, and Transgender Young Adults
There has been a growing body of research suggesting that there may be a correlation between Autism, gaming, and transgender young adults. Some researchers believe that Autism, gender dysphoria, and gaming addiction all have some characteristics common: preference for solitary activities, repetitive behaviours, and difficulty with social interaction.
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between Autism and gender dysphoria. In fact, according to a study published in 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, transgender young adults who also have Autism are more likely to experience anxiety and depression. The study also found that they are more likely to be bullied, and they have higher tendencies to attempt suicide. In addition, they are less likely to have friends, and they are more likely to suffer from social isolation.
The Advantages of Gaming on People with Autism and Transgender Teens
After establishing the potential correlation between Autism, gender dysphoria, and gaming addiction, a question remains. What positive impacts can gaming bring to these groups?
For people with Autism, video games can provide a much-needed outlet for social interaction. Yet, when it comes to games that help people with ASD develop social skills, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Different types of games can help with different aspects of social interaction. For example, strategy games can teach planning and problem-solving skills, while multiplayer online games can help with social interaction and communication.
Some games are specifically designed to help people with ASD learn social skills, such as how to start a conversation or interpret nonverbal cues. One such game is known as “The Social Express”. The game was developed by a speech pathologist, and it has been found to be effective in helping people with ASD develop social skills.
For transgender young adults, video games can provide a safe and accepting environment to explore their gender identity. In addition, games can help transgender people develop self-confidence and social skills. For example, the game “Gender Bender” allows players to experiment with different gender identities and expressions. The game helps increase self-acceptance and gender exploration.
To sum it up, video games can positively impact people with ASD and transgender young adults. Gaming can provide a much-needed outlet for social interaction and help develop social skills. In addition, gaming can be a safe and accepting environment for transgender people to explore their gender identity.