Autism and Pokemon

Something that myself and Jack have wanted to do for a while, is a post about Pokemon. I’ve not been sure how to do it, but decided to look at the relationship between autism and Pokemon in general. And look specifically at Jacks complete Pokemon obsession. The cartoon itself and the games are obviously fun, I am just about young enough, to remember when the cartoon first came out in the UK.

I enjoyed it at the time, but soon grew out of it and didn’t collect the cards or anything like that. A fun fact that I only learned recently is, the creator of Pokemon Satoshi Tajiri is autistic. The idea for Pokemon came from his obsession as a child for collecting bugs, and playing video games.

Pokemon Go

The real game changer though, was when the Pokemon Go came out in 2016. It was a big craze when it came out, but has calmed down to the big Pokemon fans. The good thing about the game for an autistic person like Jack, is it encouraged getting out in the fresh air and exercise.

Getting Jack to go for a walk wasn’t easy, now he can’t get out the house fast enough, so he can catch Pokemon. Also there’s the social side to it, if you don’t know the game. There is a need to have in game “friends” to complete tasks and compete in raids. I joined a local group (I have my own game account) so I could do this with Jack. Then there’s the conversation topic, if anyone mentions Pokemon (or even if they don’t) Jack can talk all day about it.

I have to say I enjoy our walks “Pokemon hunting” as Jack calls it, we have spent many hours out there catching or battling Pokemon. It has been fun, but it is something Jack takes very seriously. Jack has trouble distinguishing what is real and what is fiction, and a game like Pokemon Go blurs the line even more. That is what I want to talk about next regarding autism and Pokemon.

Jack’s Pokemon obsession

Autism and pokemon

Anyone who has ever met Jack, very quickly gets introduced to his “obsessions”. The 4 main ones are Pokemon, Minecraft, Secure Contain Protect and Lego. He will try and start a conversation about these things with anyone he meets. Which can be interesting when you’re stood in the queue at Tesco.

Currently he spends a lot of his time playing Pokemon Go, or various Pokemon games on his Nintendo Switch. He is determined to collect all of the possible Pokemon, and become the greatest Pokemon trainer who ever lived. It’s all good fun, but when people talk to him about it, they often don’t realise it’s not “just a game” to Jack. Saying that gets Jack very frustrated, to him his Pokemon are very real. Being able to tell the difference between reality and fiction. Is one of the big issues we face with Jack, and his ability to be independent at the moment.

Jack recently told he wants to travel the world to research all the Pokemon. A fun idea of course, but how to you make that a reality? I’m in a difficult place at the moment. Should I be trying to get him to see things from the “real world” perspective? Is that even possible for him? Should I just let him live in his fantasy world? Sometimes I wish I could live there. It’s so difficult to know what to do, as Jack also talks about wanting to get a job, have a girlfriend, get married and have a family. Some autistic people are able to function in the “norm”’of society, and some cant and need to be looked after their whole life. We still don’t know with Jack, it’s like he’s in a grey area in the middle at the moment.

Getting creative

Autism and pokemon is all about creativity, and it’s not just computer games and watching TV. Jack uses Pokemon to express his creative side as well. He is really excited to show you what he has been making, and we will start with his homemade Poke balls.

Jacks got some polystyrene balls, and decorated them using markers to looks like poke balls. The other thing he has been doing, is making his Pokemon book. Which is a a4 lined pad, which he is putting in Pokemon related stuff. Like drawing and colourings. It’s still very much a work in progress, and he is having fun doing it.

book

That’s all from this post on autism and Pokemon, the subject will undoubtedly pop up again at some point. As always, thank you for reading.

Dad Does Autism

My name is Adam. I live with my partner Natalie, and our 2 children Jack and Lily. Both children are autistic, it is now my mission to show what life around autism is like. Spread the awareness and gain the acceptance that autistic people deserve.

25 thoughts on “Autism and Pokemon

  • August 30, 2020 at 4:38 pm
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    I love Pikachu, I want one of those teddies!!

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    • August 30, 2020 at 5:03 pm
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      I think everyone loves pikachu 😀

      Reply
  • August 30, 2020 at 9:19 pm
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    I remember when literally everyone was out hunting Pokemon when Go came out, it’s a great way to get active in an enjoyable way though so I can see the attraction.

    Sophie

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    • August 31, 2020 at 1:13 am
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      Yeah, the encouragement of getting Jack out and about was what made us suggest the game to him, it certainly worked.

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  • August 30, 2020 at 10:26 pm
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    I like how Pokemon has been such a positive impact on Jack’s life. It seems like it has given him a purpose and something to achieve. His pokemon balls and book is great, even better that the pokemon Go game gives him the confidence to get out and about.

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    • August 31, 2020 at 1:15 am
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      Given him a purpose is a good way of looking at it. I like that. He craves achieving things and getting recognition for it.

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  • August 31, 2020 at 1:07 am
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    Gotta catch ‘em all 🤣🤣

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    • August 31, 2020 at 1:16 am
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      Now I’ve got the theme music stuck in my head 😂

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  • August 31, 2020 at 11:45 am
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    I love that Pokemon brings out a creative side, that’s so positive! And I always find the impact Pokemon Go had to be fascinating, it got so many people out and about, at its peak it was amazing to see 👏🏾

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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  • August 31, 2020 at 12:18 pm
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    Good post! I was never a fan of Pokemon. But I just adore Pikachu because the character is so adorable. Btw, it’s nice to learn about Pokemon from your post. Thank you for sharing.

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    • August 31, 2020 at 5:02 pm
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      I think even if you don’t like Pokemon, you just have to love Pikachu, it’s impossible not too.

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  • August 31, 2020 at 1:41 pm
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    It is very interesting how intense Jacks obsession seems to be. I understand your concern about it overtaking things and it not being in the real world. There is still plenty of time for him to develop his understanding of the real world.

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    • August 31, 2020 at 4:58 pm
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      Yeah, there’s still time.

      Reply
  • August 31, 2020 at 3:44 pm
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    Pokemon can certainly bring about creativity! I remember when Pokemon Go was all the rage a few years ago and no one could stop playing.

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    • August 31, 2020 at 4:55 pm
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      Hoards of people running across parks because there’s supposed to be a pikachu nearby. I remember it well 😂

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  • August 31, 2020 at 4:35 pm
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    So awesome! My boyfriend and I play Pokemon Go daily and especially love shiny-hunting and raiding on community days when tons of people are active 🙂 Pokemon Go has really encouraged us to be more active as well, taking walks everyday to nearby gyms and pokestops, and it’s great to see how it’s helped Jack as well. Also, I love his painted pokeballs and his pokeball book, and that it’s encouraged him to want to see the world! It’s amazing to see the benefits of this game and how much of a positive impact it can have

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    • August 31, 2020 at 4:57 pm
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      It is fun, there’s like a little gang where we live that team up for the raids.

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  • September 1, 2020 at 2:25 pm
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    Loved reading about Jack’s love for Pokemon! I didn’t know the creator was Autistic either – that’s so cool! I used to create books and things like that for Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings when I was little because I loveddd them.

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    • September 1, 2020 at 2:33 pm
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      I didn’t really do things like that, I was obsessed with sport. I did proper nerd out stats and sport history though, which I guess is similar. Jack watched all the Potter films last year, and enjoyed them.

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  • September 1, 2020 at 4:07 pm
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    Ah yes Pokemon, I love hearing all about that from the kids 🤔😂

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  • September 1, 2020 at 9:44 pm
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    I am not much of an online game player, but I know that having in-game friends is a great way to connect with people who all care about the same thing. I remember creating fan books, so to speak, with pictures of my favorite actors and quotes. Looking back, it is something to smile over!

    I sure would like to be standing in the Tesco queue one day and hear Jack talking. 🙂

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    • September 2, 2020 at 11:08 am
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      It’s all fun stuff that keeps him happy, and with no friends outside of school and respite, he gets very excited about in game friends.

      It’s a thing to behold, and usually gets one of 2 reactions. Complete bewilderment, and I have to distract jack to save the poor person. Or someone who recognises Jack has some form of learning disability or autism, and enthusiastically talks back.

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  • September 2, 2020 at 6:25 pm
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    I loved playing Pokémon Red, I bought Pokémon Sword but that was boring and lacked the gameplay of Pokémon Red. I played Pokémon go when it came out, but quickly got bored of it. Huge drain on your battery and the battling wasn’t very engaging. I’m glad Jack enjoys it though

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    • September 2, 2020 at 7:03 pm
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      The games are about collecting the Pokemon, rather than the battling for Jack I think. Go is certainly a battery drainer.

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  • September 10, 2020 at 5:41 pm
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    Jacks got some cool Pokemon swag therre

    Reply

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