Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Teenager with autism livestreams 12-hour Minecraft marathon

Minecraft 180A teenager has set out to “bust some autism myths” by taking part in a 12-hour Minecraft marathon livestream, which will also raise money for charity Ambitious about Autism.

Minecraft is an online computer game about breaking and placing blocks, and has already been shown in studies to be very popular for those with autism, because it is a game that never ends. One father has now created Autcraft, a closed online Minecraft community just for children with autism.

Fourteen-year-old Tom Kirkman-Wood said: “I am very keen to spread the word about autism and love busting autism myths. I also happen to be a big Minecraft fan. The 12 hours is just 12 hours of playing in one go – I have done that kind of length before so I know that I can handle it. However, it is always hard. I will occasionally ask people in chat to set me goals and challenges.”

According to brain-training games website Learning Works for Kids, Minecraft provides a vibrant world in which “creativity, exploration, and productivity occurs on the player’s terms.”

While many children with autism crave routine and familiarity, studies suggest that Minecraft is “a safe place to develop flexibility.”

Jolanta Lasota, CEO of Ambitious about Autism, added: “We are always delighted when the young people we represent and support want to raise money for us. This fundraiser is a great example of the different ways that you can raise money.

“Whilst it is true that Minecraft is a particularly popular game for young people with autism, 12 hours is quite the commitment and we wish Tom all the best of luck with the marathon!”

You can find a link to Tom’s live stream until 8pm on 7 August at: www.twitch.tv/tkdubsta

Afterwards, Tom’s twitter handle is @autismacceptan and his fundraising page can be found here

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