4 things Animal Crossing New Leaf is helping my son with ASD to understand

I don’t know about you but we are the house of games consoles.  You name it, we have it.  The staff in our local Game shop know us by name, know what we like and ask if we’ve been ill or on holiday if we don’t pop in once a week.

Most of the games, I will be honest, I could take or leave.  The positive side for me is that as hubby plays his latest Grand Theft Auto or Assassins Creed, I can happily scroll through Pinterest without guilt and when I need to make a call during the school holidays, the children can be bribed with time on their play console and chocolate!

However, last year we purchased Animal Crossing New Leaf for my daughter.  This has become such a firm favourite we now have three copies of the game.  My eldest son has one, my daughter has one and yes, I have one too.

Why do we love it?

My eldest son has autism.  He finds the rules of social interaction challenging, to say the least.  Animal Crossing is helping us hugely with social interaction, finance, responsibility, dressing, thinking about other people and shopping.

Quick Overview:

In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, your job is to create a town for your citizens.  You arrive in the town as Mayor (wouldn’t that be great in real life?) and you have to keep your citizens happy for the town to survive.  Your citizens are all animal characters, each unique and with their own quirks.

Animal Crossing New Leaf
How do you keep citizens happy?

  • Chat to each citizen every day
    • If you ignore them, they move away
  • Find items they request
  • Visit their homes
  • Arrange projects for items they want building in the town
    • This involves making enough money to pay for the projects (more on money later)
  • Keep the town free of weeds
  • Spend money in the local shops
    • This helps the local economy, shops are able to expand and new shops open as the town grows
  • Dig up fossils for the local museum
  • Visit the local tropical island
  • Help sailors who fall asleep in your town
  • Find lost items and return them to the right citizen

How do you make money?

  • You shake trees for coins
  • You hit rocks to gain coins or gems
  • You can also do the following, then sell the items at the R