Inside: Best games for adults with autism that promote good mental health

I recently learned that more and more adults are realizing that they may have autism. Whether it be because there is more and more information readily available to us, or if its just an overall awareness that is achieved once you become an adult, I am not sure. But it’s true!

I think this information can be super cool because it allows you to understand yourself in a more complex way. In the past, you may have been judged for your particular ways of doing things, or your quirks, or even the way that you handle stressful situations. Even if it wasn’t by other people, you’ve probably been hard on yourself because of it.

Understanding the way your mind works can help you to be more empathetic towards yourself, and it also allows you to do things that actually might align you with your desired outcome. Whatever the case, there are so many things about autism that should be celebrated. 

Lego Man with a little map

Since I love games, I wanted to show my support by finding some of the best games for adults with autism. I carefully crafted the list below with some activities that I know are going to be to much fun.

Games for Adults with Autism

I know quite a few autistic adults in my life, so I asked for their help and feedback one which games they think work best for people on the spectrum.

Each person is different, so what you may find enjoyable… the next person may not. So take what you like and leave what doesn’t!

1. Board Games – Classic board games like Scrabble, Chess, Settlers of Catan, or Ticket to Ride can be engaging and enjoyable. I love these Board Games based on Tv Shows.

2. Card Games – Simple card games like Uno or more complex games like Poker can be entertaining.

3. Puzzles – Jigsaw puzzles or Sudoku can help improve cognitive skills and concentration.

4. Video Games – Many adults with autism enjoy video games, so find ones that match their interests and abilities.

5. LEGO Building – LEGO sets can be both fun and therapeutic for individuals with autism.

6. Arts and Crafts – Activities like painting, coloring, or making crafts can be enjoyable and a means of self-expression.

7. Music Therapy – Playing musical instruments or engaging in music therapy can be soothing and stimulating.

8. Dance – Dancing can be a great way to improve motor skills and social interaction.

9. Sensory Play – Sensory bins, kinetic sand, or playdough can provide tactile stimulation and relaxation.

10. Yoga – Gentle yoga or meditation can promote relaxation and improve body awareness.

Photo of a man wearing a VR Headset

Interactive Games Adults Will Enjoy

Next, I wanted to add some games that are interactive. These will help those of you who may struggle with anxiety(which many of us these days do). I think adding these activities to your schedule will promote an overall sense of happiness that may not be being experienced without them.

11. Nature Walks – Enjoying nature and outdoor walks can be calming and invigorating.

12. Trampolining – Jumping on a trampoline can provide sensory input and be a lot of fun.

13. Cooking or Baking –  Preparing and enjoying meals together can be an enjoyable social activity.

14. Role-playing Games – Games like Dungeons & Dragons can encourage creativity and social interaction.

15. Virtual Reality (VR) Games – VR experiences can be immersive and enjoyable for some individuals. This would be one that I want to add to my list of creative games to play party edition!

16. Water Play – Swimming, water balloons, or playing in a sprinkler can be refreshing and fun.

17. Indoor Obstacle Course – Set up an indoor obstacle course for physical activity and enjoyment.

18. Memory Games – Memory matching games or Simon Says can help with memory skills.

19. Bowling – Bowling is a social and enjoyable activity for many people with autism.

20. Sensory Storytime – Reading books with sensory elements or props can enhance the reading experience.

Model Airplane photo

Most Fun Games for Adults with Autism

These are the games and activities that I think are the most fun in this list(again, this is subjective). I honestly want to start including these in my life! There is nothing wrong with scheduling some more time for fun!

21. Movie Nights – Watching movies or TV shows together can be a relaxing group activity.

22. Pet Therapy – Spending time with animals can be calming and provide companionship.

23. Virtual Museum Tours – Explore museums virtually to learn and discover new things.

24. Karaoke – Singing along to favorite songs can be enjoyable and boost confidence.

25. Gardening – Tending to a garden can be therapeutic and provide a sense of accomplishment.

26. Building Model Kits – Assembling model airplanes, cars, or ships can be engaging and rewarding.

27. Mini Golf – Miniature golf can be a fun and low-pressure social activity.

28. Memory Games – Memory matching games or Simon Says can help with memory skills. Check out these printable memory games so you can have some ready!

29. Social Story Games – Create and play social story games to practice social situations.

30. Science Experiments – Conduct simple science experiments for fun and learning.

31. Online Social Groups – Join online social groups tailored for individuals with autism to connect with others who share similar interests.

The Rise of Autism Awareness

As I said in the introduction, there seems to be a rise of autism diagnoses in adults. This can be for many reasons, but above all I think it has to do with a rise in AWARENESS of how autism presents itself. More people are realizing, “Hey…I do that everyday.” or, “Hm, that is something that I definitely struggle with.” 

When discussing this, this article said,

The prevalence of autism in the United States has risen steadily since researchers first began tracking it in 2000. The rise in the rate has sparked fears of an autism ‘epidemic.’ But experts say the bulk of the increase stems from a growing awareness of autism and changes to the condition’s diagnostic criteria.

They also touched upon some of the most common questions,

What is the prevalence of autism in the U.S.?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68children in the U.S. have autism. The prevalence is 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls. These rates yield a gender ratio of about five boys for every girl.

How does the CDC arrive at this number?
CDC researchers collect health and school records for 8-year-old children who live in select U.S. counties. These researchers are part of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which the CDC set up in 2000 to estimate autism prevalence.

I am not saying that being on the spectrum doesn’t have it’s challenges, but I think being diagnosed is something to be celebrated(as overwhelming as it can feel). 

most fun games for adults with autism

I hope that you found this list helpful! I love that we are learning more and more about the ways that being on the autism spectrum presents itself in daily life. There are so many different things that make up a person, but I think that learning more about yourself in this way allows for a better understanding of how you can move more easily throughout life.

I think what I find most exciting about this is that the stigma that comes with autism is coniuously getting lower and lower and more knowledge is found. The autistic people in my life are some of the most interesting and cool people I know, and they deserve to feel comfortable.

If you loved these game ideas, then you MUST check out these these video game party games.