In a world where connections matter more than ever, finding a space where individuals can foster social growth, build lasting friendships, and develop essential life skills is priceless.
Minds at Play is a shining beacon, addressing this need head-on. With its innovative virtual programs, Minds at Play has transformed the lives of neurodiverse children, youth, and adults, providing them with an inclusive and supportive environment to thrive and succeed.
This resource explores all the amazing ways that Minds at Play is:
- Building Program/Game Skills – by engaging in the program, we build the players skills and confidence in the program’s steps, languages, routines and “behavioural norms” to use these skills in the community.
- Verbal and non-verbal communication – using language and text skills to express ideas and feelings
- Build Confidence – supporting players decision making, encouraging positive collaborative behaviours and actions, developed through peer activities
- Social Growth – helping the player make friends, greet others, and develop sharing and turn-taking skills
- Collaboration – by working as a group to achieve a common goal
- Problem Solving – sharing, taking turns in different roles and working together
- Conflict resolution – working through differences for a shared aim
- Emotional Development – learning to understand and talk about emotions (their own and other people’s) and problem-solving skills.
- Communication and literacy skills – expanding vocabulary around social and emotional development, increasing literacy skills and language development through peer activities
What are the outcomes?
The outcomes of these programs are not just anecdotal; they are backed by real data and reported successes. To date, Minds at Play has never cancelled a session, demonstrating their commitment to unwavering service consistency.
Minds at Play’s service has had a profoundly positive impact on the health and wellbeing of its participants, as evidenced by the following notable benefits:
- Identity Exploration and Increased Self-Confidence: Participants have had a unique opportunity to explore their identities and build self-confidence through immersive role-playing games. Data gathered from Games Masters’ session forms indicates a significant increase in self-confidence among many participants since joining the program. This positive transformation has also been acknowledged by families and carers in real-life settings.
- Safe and Moderated Gaming Environment: Families and carers have expressed their peace of mind knowing that Minds at Play provides a supervised and secure gaming space for children. Feedback received from carers attests to their increased comfort and reassurance, as they are confident that their children are engaging in a safe and well-monitored environment.
- Improved Social Skills and Comfort in Social Situations: The program has proven to be instrumental in enhancing players’ social skills and ability to engage with others. Term surveys completed by players and their carers/families demonstrate a noticeable improvement in players’ social interaction abilities and their increased comfort in various social situations. This impact is particularly significant for players who experience social anxiety or reside in remote areas with limited access to social groups.
- Inclusive Access for Health-Compromised Individuals: Minds at Play’s service has become an invaluable resource for players with compromised immunity or health concerns that hinder their access to traditional social groups. By participating in the program from the comfort of their own homes, these individuals can overcome barriers and enjoy social engagement that might otherwise be challenging or overwhelming due to sensory sensitivities or limited physical mobility.
- Trusting and Supportive Community: The program has fostered a safe, non-judgmental, and trusting space where participants can connect with like-minded individuals. This aspect of Minds at Play has significantly contributed to the comfort and confidence of many players, as reported through conversations with players and their support networks, session reports, and feedback surveys. The program’s high retention rate of over 70% underscores the genuine desire of players to maintain the social connections they have formed.
Recently our Dungeons and Dragons program was reviewed by the NDIA Internal Reviews & Complaints Branch and stated “funding has been approved in line with our guidelines “reasonable and necessary supports” .
But it’s not only the players who favour Minds at Play. It is also a desirable work destination. Within Minds at Play, we demonstrate inclusive workplace practices and innovative disability recruitment and retention strategies. We prioritise creating an accessible and accommodating environment by streamlining our application process. Applicants fill out one form, accompanied by their resume and cover letter, where we inquire about their gaming skills.