Children with autism are often left out of social circles as they face challenges in social communication and social interaction. The Neurobehavioral Clinic – Autism Services (NBC-AS) at Child Guidance Clinic, Institute of Mental Health, serves children with autism through a number of intervention programs. One of the unique activities they do every year is organize a Christmas party dedicated for their patients!
NBC-AS organises these Christmas parties to give children with autism more opportunities to practice their social skills while enjoying themselves through play and social interaction. And the truth is that many children with autism don’t get the chance to join such parties because they have difficulties making friends. This year, Engineering Good had the privilege to take part in this meaningful occasion by running five games stations as part of an afternoon of activities that also included a magic show, photo booth and balloon animals!
Preparations for the Pokémon-themed event started in early November when the team of volunteers from EG brainstormed ideas for games. The team eventually settled on five games that was carefully prepared over three days/evenings.
Sound preparations of games always start with a good sketch 😉
The event was not just about making the games booths but also about running the games in a way that was sensitive to the needs of people with autism. The Christmas party organisers, Yan Lin and Chee Hon, were very supportive in providing feedback on the team’s ideas. The evening before the party, they even gave the team a briefing on Autism Spectrum Disorders and provided insights on how to interact with children with autism.
Setting up the evening before
16 December was the day of the Christmas party. After the 30 children attended a briefing and enjoyed the magic show, they filed into Health Studios 3 of the Health Promotion Board for some games! Any worry on the part of the EG team about interacting with the children were quickly dispelled as they immersed into an hour of fun with the children, solving puzzles, navigating mazes, throwing balls and targets, and more! Even Pikachu joined in the fun!
Fun fun fun!
“What struck me the most would be to not form my own prejudices towards people and to approach them with an open mind. This mindset would definitely help a lot in terms of communication and to have respect for each other.” – Sharon, EG volunteer
EG would like to thank NBC-AS for involving us in this event. We were grateful for the opportunity to be able to do a little something for children with autism during the festive season. It was a chance to put ourselves in their shoes for a little while and to better understand the challenges that people with autism face in today’s society.
“Thank you very much for giving our precious kids a chance to interact and have a good experience with kind and warm hearted people!” – Chee Hon and Yan Lin, CGC
Thank you NBC-AS!