FACT: Children love Minecraft. Not every child, of course, but many do. After all, it’s the world’s most popular video game for a reason.
A Queensland Clinical Psychologist has taken this love for Minecraft and expanded it into a valuable resource to tap into the minds of children with ASD and Autism.
Known as Legend Land, this world of video-gaming allows children to make connections to the real world in a format that they are comfortable and familiar with.
We’ve not seen anything quite like this before and we love the idea!
How Legend Land came to be
The brains behind Legend Land is Luke Blackwood who works with children with ASD on a daily basis. Luke started Legend Land with the mission of making therapy fun, removing the barriers to people accessing treatment and destigmatising mental health and the expression of emotion.
When working with children with ASD I noticed that almost all of them play Minecraft,” he said. “Minecraft is an open world game with a number of plugins that allow you to create almost anything. There is even an equivalent to electricity called Redstone.”
Luke took this love for Minecraft and designed a Minecraft therapy world that mimics this type of program.
Legend Land is a powerful way of engaging younger children online. Children learn best through play and Legend Land offers a fun, interactive way of bringing therapy to life.
One of the great things about Legend Land is that it’s ideal for remote and rural patients who may not be able to make it into the clinic. As long as they have a computer and the Legend Land program, they can play.
How Minecraft therapy works
The online therapy program begins with a video conference between the therapist and the child’s parent, to gauge treatment requirements.
Then the client enters Legend Land with the psychologist and discovers the Legend Land world.
Inside Legend Land, children are faced with all sorts of real-life situations that they may find challenging – for example – understanding and managing emotions, making friends, improving self-esteem and controlling racing thoughts.
The game acts as a tool for the clinical psychologist to bring the therapeutic concept to life through characters, puzzles and activities to learn about the topic. There is strong focus on education, empowerment, emotions and social skills.”
Through playing the game while having their psychologist in the world with them, children can navigate these often-tricky concepts, with the goal to help them to cope better in real life.
These therapies seek to empower and begin by giving the person with ASD and their families an understanding of the condition and their child’s profile of strengths and needs.”
What a cool concept, and perfect for children with ASD or Autism that love gaming! The Legend Land program is available through Full Potential Psychology. They currently accept clients from across Australia.