Employing Tabletop Role-Playing Games (TRPGs) in Social Communication Support Measures for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Japan

A Hands-On Report on the Use of Leisure Activities

  • Kōhei Katō Tokyo Gakugei University
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs), communication support, leisure activity support, quality of life (QOL)

Abstract

This paper presents two studies on promoting social communication and leisure satisfaction of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through the use of tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs). The first study involved four junior high school students with ASD, and focused on “intentional speech directed to other children” and their “consensu-making” during TRPG play sessions. The results of the analysis suggest that intentional speech as well as the ability to reach consensus increased remarkably between the 14th and the 1st session.

The second study investigated the efficacy of leisure activity using TRPGs to enhance the quality of life (QOL) of children and youth with ASD. Fifty-five teenagers with high-functioning ASD participated in the study and responded to the standardized “Questionnaire for Measuring Quality of Life” before and after the TRPG activities. After a total of five sessions once a month significant improvement in the total scores and most of subscales of QOL could be observed. The subscales of “emotional well-being” and “friends” in particular, improved remarkably. These findings suggest that leisure activities.

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Published
2019-09-05
Section
Original Research Article