We recently received this beautiful story from one of the families who have downloaded Happy Geese. With their permission, we want to share it with you:
“One of my playing companions is a very clever child who has autism. We had tried to play the Game of the Goose together before. He had previously learned to use a die, he knew how to count and we had practiced taking turns in other games... So we decided to start playing the Game of the Goose with a simpl
e paper board that we had made at home: the traditional board with 63 cells can be overwhelming. It looked like he knew everything he had to know to get started, but it still did not work out too well. He loved to throw the die and refused to hand it over to the next player. He just wanted to keep throwing it and was much less interested in progressing with the game. He also had problems with waiting between turns and when other players had had to thrown “his” die. He did not pay attention when others were playing. The game was not motivating, much less fun.
We then decided to try Happy Geese, with the hope that the different format change would work better. The child loves to play with our iPad, which was a good starting point.
First of all, having a chip with his picture and his name on his side of the board has helped to visually understand how to the game works. I had to help the first time he threw his die, but he then looked delighted to see it rolling and as soon as it stopped he began to count the dots. I also helped him to move his chip that first time, but after that he just knew what to do.
The problems of self-stimulation with the die and the chips have come to an abrupt end because the app simply does not allow him to. Additionally, the game dictates whose turn it is and he has no way to go around that. The look of the game is simple and attractive and helps focus attention. The action always takes place in a single point on the board and he can follow the game step by step. The game is clear, structured and clean.
With our iPad and Happy Geese our "fights" have come to an end and we have been able to start playing. In a single afternoon, the Game of the Goose has changed from being an unpleasant educational task to be a real game. It's no longer a chore, but a reward to enjoy. We now are able really play, which with a child with autism is no small thing.”