Autism: Do brain training games improve cognitive function?

Here's how puzzles and blocks can help improve cognitive function in kids.

The treatment options for autistic kids are interdisciplinary, which includes psychological treatment, speech-language therapy and occupational therapy. And brain training games or activities are one of the common ways to improve cognitive skills in autistic kids. But do they really help? We spoke to Dr Vidyasagar Kancharapu, Managing Director, Cornerstone Therapy about brain training games and cognitive function, here is what he has to say. Here's more on the latest treatment and therapies for autism.

Cognitive skills focus on how well the kid is reacting to your cues. For example, for a 1-year-old kid, games like stacking blocks can help. You can ask the kid to either put it in an ascending order or descending order to know more about her brain activity. Simple activities like placing the blocks in different colours together or based on the size of the objects can not only improve the perception but also help her learn. At 2, it is mainly about indulging the kid in activities that deal with size, colour and shapes to improve his cognitive skills. For a kid who is 3 years old, activities like puzzle games can help the kid to improve the brain function and cognitive skills. So with age, the brain activity games also change. Read more on autism tips for parents Help your autistic child communicate better.

However, this is not as simple as it may seem because it varies from kid to kid. For example, if your kid likes car or bikes, then games or puzzles with transport-based themes can get them to play and improve their skills. So the role of the parent is to help the kids out the blocks independently and help them if missing out on any cues. Also, it gives them hands-on experience on how to place the missing pieces in a puzzle or a block. And as your kid shows improvement, you can either increase the no.of pieces in the puzzle (say from 4 pieces to 8). Do get in touch with experts to know more about brain activity games and help your kid grow better. Also read about alternative approaches to autism in children.

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