You see, Pick and Draw is a fun card game for all children, which introduces them to creativity and the gift of drawing and art (more on the game later). But Pick and Draw is especially appropriate for children on the Autism Spectrum, and in fact has been used by some therapists when working with their Autistic patients. When Mr. Davis saw my entry, which stated that I'd like to try the game with my Autistic son, he felt led to bless us with a copy of the game, no strings attached.
I was so touched by this gesture, and in return I wanted to write about his product on my blog.
So here's the run down:
Pick and Draw is a non-competitive drawing game that teaches you how to draw cute, cartoon faces. The deck contains several cards in 5 different colors, each color representing one element of the face (head, eyes, nose, mouth, and hair). You lay out the cards by color and take turns choosing a card and drawing the basic shape on your paper. After everyone has gone through all five facial features, you can color your drawings and compare. Mr. Davis encourages players to name their character and explain what their character likes to do.
We have played this game many times over the last month since we have had it. I like it because it's fun for everyone and there is no losing or winning, which means there is no fighting or hurt feelings either. My kids like it because they can be creative and there are no wrong or right answers. It's a very low pressure game.
Why it's good for my Autistic son:
Well there are tons of reasons, so let's look at some of them.
First, as I mentioned above, it's non-competitive. There is nothing wrong with competition, but when your goal is to engage the child, which isn't always easy with a child on the spectrum, competition usually is a hindrance rather than an incentive to play.
Next, it's very visual and it's very concrete. Autistic children are often very visual people. They think concretely. Pick and Draw is a game that is "see and do". It is fun, but it is also very simplistic (though you can make it more involved by expanding on your drawing, as my husband is wont to do).
Also, Pick and Draw helps children share enjoyment with one another. My son's favorite part (surprisingly) is naming his character and telling what he likes to do. Last night when we played, Little Bean followed Miss O around the kitchen asking her, "What's your character's name, and what does he like to do?" He wouldn't let up until she told him! This is a huge difference from 5 months ago when the therapist asked us if he ever showed interest in others or asked questions about others. I can attest that this game has a built-in element of getting all players involved in conversing with one another and showing interest in one another.
There are other reasons it's good for children on the spectrum: it encouages creativity and requires fine-motor work, it is highly structured, giving the child a comfortable environment for interaction, and it teaches the child that it's okay to be flexible and still follow the rules (after all you can draw a face in many different ways).
I definitely recommend this game for children with Autism, but truly it's a game for anyone to enjoy; not to mention, it's one of the few children's games we have that as an adult I can still enjoy playing time after time with the kids! ;)
You can check out more about Pick and Draw here.