Minecraft for Children with Autism

If you have a school-aged child, it’s highly likely that you’ve already heard of Minecraft, an interactive, online game that allows players to build and create textured cubes in a 3D, virtual world. Other activities include exploring, gathering, crafting and combat. To date, there are over 11 million players worldwide, with those numbers rapidly increasing by the day.

Because of a user’s ability to play Minecraft in a “multi-player” mode, those with autism can highly benefit from it by developing their communication and social skills, as well as enhancing their creativity at the same time.

These benefits have not been overlooked by Stuart Duncan (aka AutismFather), an autism advocate from Canada who is best known for his online advocacy through blogging and social networking sites. Duncan has even guest blogged on this site in the past.

Last month, Duncan launched AutCraft, a pet project that is the first Minecraft server dedicated to providing a safe, fun and learning environment for children on the autism spectrum and their families at no cost to them.

AutCraft is a members only group and each user must be “whitelisted” prior to playing. Since its launch a few weeks ago, nearly 500 players have already been added the AutCraft community.

Within the world of AutCraft, no swearing or bullying is allowed and the environment has been modified so no monsters will attack players. This means that users are free to adventure and explore anywhere they want, without the typical “dangers” that exist in the game’s regular modes.

My 11-year-old son with autism recently joined and has loved the ability to play and interact with others.

Due to the rapid growth of AutCraft, Duncan is already considering launching a second server. He has put in a considerable amount of time into this project and is providing a fantastic service for the autism community.

If you would like to have your child’s Minecraft user name whitelisted, visit http://www.AutCraft.com and click the ‘Sign Up’ button, then request an invite.

Because of the time, maintenance, management and server costs, Duncan is in need of sponsors that would be willing to assist him with growing this project. He has set up a donation tab on his site for those who would like to help.

In Autcraft, everyone is equal. There is no young or old, boy or girl, neurotypical or autistic – none of that matters. Everyone is there to learn, explore and have a great time.

Check it out — you and your family will be glad you did.

19 Responses to Minecraft for Children with Autism

  1. Kristofer Siskoski says:

    Please keep me in the loop via newsletter or other means. My 5 year old is autistic. Thanks.

  2. Doris Kapner says:

    He needs to put it on Kickstarter.com. This site helps people get funding especially for this kind of thing. My 13 yo Aspie son recently got me to help fund another great game Stonehearth that will be released in beta soon. Minecraft is wonderful. My son has done a great deal of research of real architecture in order to advance his building skills. He plays with his stepbrothers who live across the country. He also is helping teach younger kids through my husband’s programming school for kids. This is a great social opportunity for him. The kids look up to him because he’s so advanced. It’s been a huge boost to his self esteem. Plus he is learning how to code, and do network administration through Minecraft which is preparing him for an occupation that he can excel at and is filled with people on the spectrum.

  3. Sarah says:

    This sounds like a great program especially as we had to recently take away video games from my aspie 10 yo stepson. He was particularly using Minecraft to act out violently by blowing everything up with dynomite. Has this aspect been disabled as well? I would love to have him only be able to use it creatively and positively.

  4. Mike Williams says:

    Hi, I sent an email to Stuart Duncan yesterday, 10/07/13, to see if our Autistic ten year old son could join Autcraft. I’m not sure how long he usually takes to reply, or if we need to join Minecraft first, to get a password/username? Thanks.

  5. We’ve been running a 24/7 server, whitelisted, as a school subject for the last year and a half. We’ve seen the positive impact it can have for children who are diagnosed with ASD. They create great connections with others and consequently have a place. It’s so nice to see such positive interactions between students and take on roles of supporting others learning :)

  6. My son, Joe, showed this to me and we think it is a tremendous idea. I’m with Sarah in wanting a Minecraft game that is a lot less violent and more friendly and interactive.

  7. Donelle Batty says:

    Minecraft has aspects that some people may view as violent, PvP (player vs player)is certainly one. Some elements like dynamite might also appear violent. My suggestion is that you seek out a server for your child that is held together by a charter. This provides expectations for the community. Then look for how the community expectations are supported and encouraged. This server is one that I would recommend http://massively.jokaydia.com/ it requires parents to be active in their child’s learning. The game is social so does require learning the social aspects of the server you are on. Each server is different. Not all servers have PvP turned on, something to look for if you’re wanting your child to focus on community and creativity. Although children may want things like PvP and dynamite, as they add an element of risk, they will soon realise that community and participation in it is something they will desire more.

  8. Dan Crawford says:

    Hello! i’m aatistum and my sister and i’m looking fore me and my sister so i can play with her and she dosent have to anoy me Usaname : dcraw24
    My sisters usaname if she gets a acont : jcraw24

  9. kim pettis says:

    my autistic7 yrld wantsso muc toplayatautcrat his user name is spiderbuddy

  10. My little boy has autism and this sounds very interesting. Never used minecraft so know very little about it. Would we be able to access autcraft from an ipad? Looks great and good luck

  11. Janeen Parfitt says:

    I am looking forward to using this during my social times with my students on the spectrum. SLP

  12. bonedogger says:

    i am in ze server

  13. bonedogger says:

    i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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