Advertisement – We were given this Nintendo Switch console in return for a review.
We were lucky enough to be asked by AO to review a Nintendo Switch bundle. Ben has autism and loves gaming.
We wanted to see how the Nintendo Switch compared to his other consoles as suitable for children/teenagers with autism and other needs like his.
Choosing a Nintendo Switch
If you are looking to buy a Nintendo Switch then it is easy to be overwhelmed by the variety of packages available.
I was impressed at the variety AO offered all with easy-to-arrange delivery. They deliver 7 days a week so next day delivery is often possible.
AO stocks Nintendo Switch with no games for £279 and with games from £299. Packages are available for all interests and ages so do have a look here at their bundles.
As AO also stocks games and accessories you can really spend as much or as little as you want on making the console right for you.
Setting up the Nintendo Switch for kids
When Ben unboxed the Nintendo Switch and Zelda game he, of course, like any teenager or child wanted to play right away!
I was a bit anxious that it would be a long setup process. Worrying he would be itching to play it whilst I was still fiddling with wires. I was so pleased that it was really easy to set up.
Ben helped me with the instructions and predominantly set it up on his own. Luckily it was half term so he had plenty of time to then play on it too.
Game-playing experience for autistic children
Ben found the console easy to learn how to use. This is possibly because he has previously played on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
He found it a little tricky getting used to the controls as some of the buttons are in a different configuration than what he was used to.
Ben enjoys the way he can play with the small controllers while watching the game on the large TV screen. He has also played with it in tabletop mode and handheld.
The versatility of this is perfect for any child and especially one with additional needs who you want to game in the same room.
A Parent’s view of the Nintendo Switch
I love that the console can be used with and without the TV enabling us to watch the TV whilst also keeping an eye on Ben gaming. It is compact enough to take out and about but also still feels robust.
The range of games available, particularly from AO but also elsewhere, means the console is suitable for all the family.
Games available include FIFA, Lego Movie, Pokemon, Nintendo Super Smash Bros, Zelda, Mario and many more.
As the console uses cartridges rather than discs the risk of damaging them is low.
This is great for heavy-handed children, those who don’t understand how delicate discs are or those who lose their temper and throw games!
Nintendo Switch games for autistic children
No One knows better than those with autism and their parents which games are good for them so hopefully, if you are buying for someone with autism this will help you decide.
I know which games Ben loves but wanted to share with you some suggestions from other bloggers with autistic family members or autism themselves.
We all know every child with autism is different so hopefully, these ideas will help. Maybe you can see elements of your child’s personality in the suggestions?
Not all Nintendo Switch games for kids are ideal for those with autism so I hope this helps.
With simple rules and tasks, Ben is a big fan of Lego games as he loves how they are fun but not too challenging. He never gets angry when playing them and just enjoys it.
Ben has always loved Minecraft, I really can’t see the appeal myself but the endless building opportunities in this open-world game are perfect for keeping kids entertained for hours whatever their ability as you can even get online tutorials to build certain things.
Suzanne says her daughter loves Minecraft as she loves just relaxing and building things in this crafted world.
It is both single-player and can be played with friends so perfect for all youngsters and family-friendly at the same time.
Ben loves Animal Crossing New Horizon as it is simple and allows him to wander around with no time limits etc.
Kelly also agrees that Animal Crossing is amazing! She says you’re not competing against anyone and can go at your own leisurely speed.
There is even a special edition of the Nintendo Switch for Animal Crossing, check it out but before you do make sure no kids are looking (it is pricy!!).
Ben used to love a Just Dance game on his Xbox but hasn’t yet tried it on the Switch. Suzanne’s daughter loves it as she can move around and burn off energy.
If you are worried about your child accidentally throwing the controllers through the TV you can buy straps! This is great for younger players and those who don’t like to sit still.
Super Mario Party
Mandy’s son will not hold the controller but loves Super Mario Party and tells his siblings where to go. If he is enjoying it though, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter that he isn’t actually holding the controller.
Newer games such as Super Mario Odyssey could also be great for a Mario fan.
Hannah says “Mario Party is great as there are lots of ways to play – you can dip in and out of the mini-games or play in Story mode for more of a challenge. I like that you can have two players playing in collaboration against an imaginary team, rather than against each other – fab for kids who struggle to cope with losing.”
Kirby Star Allies
Mandy’s son loves this one too but he actually plays this one rather than giving his siblings instructions. It looks quite good but for some reason, I had never seen it before Mandy mentioned it.
Ben loves Scribblenauts. He has loved it since he once had it on Nintendo DS. It encourages spelling but is also really fun.
Becky says “Mariokart is good the familiarity of the same circuits and ability to be the same characters adds familiarity and whilst playing in a group only have to focus on own race.”
Mandi‘s son loves Warioware, she says “he loves the different mini-games available and really loves all the different characters, he needs warning and a countdown to come off of the console, and because all the games are pretty short, it means he is able to complete the level in a short time without too much stress.”
51 Worldwide games
Tina says “51 worldwide games is a fab one: it’s got loads of logic games and is good for engagement too. You can play on the same device or connect consoles wirelessly and compete against your contacts from anywhere.” she even reviewed it if you fancy a read here. She also says “
“51 worldwide games allows online gameplay so you can play games like chess checkers/noughts and crosses (plus 48 more) against other players, in a safe way.”
Jennifer says “My son loves Townscaper. It’s a town-building game and he likes the structure and organisation side of it. It’s not a fast-paced game so there’s no overstimulation. He finds it quite a calming game to play.”
An autistic adults perspective on games
Aaron from The Busy Papa has autistic children in his life and is suspected to have autism himself so his insight is interesting and shared below.
It is good for creative expression in a controlled environment. Minecraft in his opinion is incredibly beneficial to children with ASD.
It is a video game that allows players to build structures, and contraptions and collect things. It can be played creatively and cooperatively with other family members and friends.
What all this means is that if someone with a developmental condition needs something to calm down to or fixate on, it can help manage those behaviours.
Aaron describes Pokemon Cafe as charming, inoffensive and safe. It is a puzzle game with a simple story.
This is intended to be aimed at young children and is very cute and colourful. It’s a game that is very calming and works well for forms of ASD where repetitive actions in a calm non-aggressive environment can soothe the child.
He also says Luigi’s Mansion is a good choice as it is a little spooky but in a child-friendly way.
It has logic control, a simple gameplay loop and rewards with a visual and sound design that feels good whilst not being overstimulating.
Aaron also says “For me, as an adult with a sensory processing disorder and being assessed for autism; Mario games (like New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe) are self-soothers. They are good for handling anxiety, stress and upset. This is because of the way they have clearly defined rulesets and reward me with visual and sound information for every action.”
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is also one I think is great for people with autism.
The Lego Harry Potter, Marvel, Star Wars and Lego Jurassic World games are also very ASD-friendly.
They have simple problem-solving issues, fun gameplay and familiar characters.
Video games like this can be excellent ways to manage anger or frustration as they are defined by strict rules. It provides an outlet and a place to direct attention to if overly stimulated by their environment according to Aaron.
Would I recommend AO for consoles and other products?
The delivery service was second to none. I love that it is very clear from the outset as you look at products when they are available for delivery which is often the next day due to them delivering 7 days a week.
If you were to order an appliance they can install it for you. Not only that but they can even recycle your old one. This in my eyes is great as shows they are a forward-thinking company helping the environment.
A few other articles you may like
I have a review for the Gigantosaurus game on Nintendo Switch here and a review of Super Mario Maker 2.
If you would like to use it yourself or have an older child then do check out my Nintendo Ring Fit article too.
If like me you worry about how much screen time your children are having, do check out this post from a fellow blogger I found it very helpful reading.
Other posts you may enjoy
- 70 free or low-cost activities for children
- Tips for making a film with your kids
- Back-to-school ideas for you and your kids
- Cooking shows for kids
- 10 Ways to show your kids love with their packed lunch
- Why kids are noisier at home than anywhere else
Thank you for this post!! My Autistic son is 15 and it is the first time I am exposing him to a video game console. I read about the Nintendo switch and it has pretty good reviews when it comes to gaming. Your list of games has definitely helped me choose wisely.:)
Nintendo Super Smash Bros is a no-go for kids with AO. I fosters fighting and screaming and emotions rocket quickly. I would take if off the list. Conversely both Zelda and Lego are enjoyable for AO kinds.
That’s a good initiative. I know a young autistic girl who likes to play games. I can share this link with her. She will probably like it 🙂
my nephew loves games, so thanks for the reccomendation!
My husband plays this and loves it. I love seeing for your babe enjoyed it!
Our Wii is old as dirt and my son has been begging to play Zelda. We may need to upgrade to a Nintendo Switch. Great review!
Awesome. Thanks for the detailed review on this innovative device
I have been waiting to get a Switch,. They have some really great titles out on it right now.
Wow this sounds really awesome! My cousins have autism and one of my nephews does as well, I’ll have to recommend this to their parents!
My brother is 32 with autism and has used Nintendo brand since he was 5 to entertain himself. He is still using Nintendo as a grown man and I believe he does use the Switch.
My girls have been asking for the Nintendo Switch for a long time. It is good to know another parents opinion. Thanks for sharing!
I have the Wii but I was tempted to take this one as well to be able to play at home as well as outside!
I really really really love the idea, nintendo switch for kids with autism, that is the coolest idea ever. Sharing it for sure, thank you.
Seems great! I especially like that the console can be used with and without the TV. So useful!