Pinball and kids with autism
Robert Gagno 2016 World Pinball Champion

Do you have a child on the spectrum? 


Did you know that pinball has many benefits for kids with autism? Here are some of the reasons why pinball is a great activity for children on the spectrum:


Pinball is mentally stimulating. Pinball can help kids with autism improve their attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. It can also provide a lot of sensory input, such as lights, sounds, and vibrations, that can be very appealing and engaging for them.

Pinball rewards paying attention. Pinball is not a random game. It has rules and objectives that require the player to follow the cues on the playfield. By learning how to achieve the goals and score points, kids with autism can feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Pinball offers social interaction. Pinball can be played with other people, either in teams or in competitions. This can help kids with autism develop their interpersonal skills, such as turn-taking, sportsmanship, and communication. It can also help them make friends and have fun with others who share their interest.

Pinball improves hand-eye coordination. Pinball can help kids with autism enhance their motor skills and reflexes. By learning how to control the flippers and the ball, they can improve their timing, accuracy, and coordination. They can also learn how to manipulate the table and use different techniques to achieve the best shots.

Pinball is a safe game to play. Pinball does not involve any physical risks or injuries, unlike some other games or sports. It is also easy to play and does not require any special equipment or skills. Kids with autism can play pinball at their own pace and comfort level, without feeling pressured or stressed.

Pinball teaches patience. Pinball can help kids with autism learn how to cope with frustration and failure. Sometimes, the ball can go down the drain or miss the target, which can be disappointing. But by playing pinball, they can learn how to accept the outcome and try again. They can also learn how to play strategically and carefully, rather than impulsively and recklessly.

Pinball teaches understanding of physics. Pinball can help kids with autism learn about the basic principles of physics, such as gravity, momentum, and angles. By observing how the ball moves and reacts to the different elements on the table, they can gain an intuitive understanding of how physics works in the real world.

Pinball can build self-confidence. Pinball can help kids with autism feel proud of their abilities and achievements. By mastering new skills and getting high scores, they can boost their self-esteem and confidence. They can also showcase their talents and impress others with their pinball prowess.

Pinball can help with de-stressing. Pinball can help kids with autism relax and have fun. By playing pinball, they can escape from the worries and challenges of everyday life and focus on the game. Pinball can also provide a positive outlet for their emotions and energy, and help them release any pent-up stress or anxiety.

Pinball is suitable for most ages. Pinball can be enjoyed by kids of different ages and developmental stages. It can also be a great family game, as parents and siblings can join in and play together. Pinball can create opportunities for bonding and sharing among family members, and foster a sense of belonging and connection.

As you can see, pinball is more than just a game. It is a beneficial and enjoyable activity that can help kids with autism in many ways. Robert Gagno is an autistic young man who won the 2016 world pinball championships and speaks highly of how pinball has helped him in many ways. So, why not give pinball a try and see for yourself how great and special it is? You might be surprised by how much you and your kids will love it!