Give Me 5 board game helps social skills in autistic children

A former Chicago-area mom helped create a social skills game for children and teens with autism spectrum disorder and other social-related issues.
February 1, 2014 7:03:36 AM PST
Board games are designed to be challenging and fun. A former Chicago-area mom helped create a social skills game for children and teens with autism spectrum disorder and other social-related issues.

Give Me 5 is the name of the game. It is like Trivial Pursuit , but using social situations

Tara O'Hea and her son, Thomas, have played Give Me 5 with Pam Depalma.

"There's eight different categories of social skills, and when you land on a certain color, that's the card that you choose and the card has a question on it, and they answer the question," said Pam. "When you land on a certain square where a star is and you get the correct answer, everybody give each other 5."

Give Me 5 incorporates learning through analyzing social scenarios using visual cues, role playing and problem solving.

"Children with autism sometimes struggle with social situations and social skills, and especially as they get older, and they get into their teenage years," Pam said. "We have it set up so that you work with a mediator, parent teacher or social worker."

The game has only been on the market since last fall. There is also a Give Me 5 app.

" We worked with Art on the Loose. They did all of the design, graphics and created. We worked with their photographer and doing videos for the apps," Pam said.

Since Thomas started playing Give Me 5, his mom has seen some improvements.

"He's thinking more about different social situations. Now that he's 14, there are other situations that he has to make some judgment that are a little bit more challenging for him," said Tara.

"We've gotten tremendous feedback from teachers and social skill workers and some therapists. Everyone is just excited about the game and it has been a great tool for using," said Pam.

The board game sells for $39.99, and the app $7.99. They are available on their website: www.thedevelopmentalgarden.com/board-game/.

Art on the Loose: www.artontheloose.com


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