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How TTRPGs Can Benefit ASD, ADHD, and Other Conditions

Hello everyone. I am Levi, and I have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). I have been playing/DMing D&D 5e for just over 3 years, and I have known that I have Autism for about 2.5 years. I know that D&D has helped me cope with my difficulties in life since before I knew I had ASD or any other conditions. I also have OCD and ADHD as well, and have also suffered from depression throughout the years for various reasons. I know that D&D has helped me greatly, and I wanted to make this thread so others with similar conditions could come and share their stories and experiences if they want, or just have a place where other people have had similar difficulties as they have.

Please post below, and I hope to hear from a lot of people. What could the community do (if anything) to be more inclusive to those with mental conditions? What are your experiences?
 

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
The hobby may have had issues with inclusivity in many areas, but in my experience has been more inclusive than general society for those with ASD and ADHD. In fact, TTRPGs are now used as a therapy tool and a number of organizations have sprung up to provide RPG-therapy training and services.
 

The hobby may have had issues with inclusivity in many areas, but in my experience has been more inclusive than general society for those with ASD and ADHD. In fact, TTRPGs are now used as a therapy tool and a number of organizations have sprung up to provide RPG-therapy training and services.
I agree. D&D is definitely more welcoming than the world in general is to those with these conditions.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I don't have such an extensive constellation of sympoms, but I know it has at least seemed to help with my depressive tendencies, and it has given me a comfortable way to step outside my social comfort zone by gaming with strangers.
 

I don't have such an extensive constellation of sympoms, but I know it has at least seemed to help with my depressive tendencies, and it has given me a comfortable way to step outside my social comfort zone by gaming with strangers.
I have had similar experiences. Thanks for sharing.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I am DMing for 2 regular players with disorders and 2 sometime players. It varies with the disorder and personality type. Two standards are "extra time". And "Repeat back" especially since both regular players don't pick up on the visual clues. And the next part is not going to very nice.

Bob 1. Various Adventure League DMs did the following. Wrote spells on 3 by 5 or larger cards to include drawings of dice. Think 3 by 5 with magic missile written out and 3d4s. He was told to match his dice to the picture of the dice. His dice rolling varies so much I gave him a dice tray. Currently I treat him as a "Horny 15 year old" when he gets on my nerves. And to speed game play we occasionally count his dice for him. Especially for boss fights when we have a 7 person table. Occasionally we tell him "don't go there" when his conversation goes to far. That varies with who is at the table.

Bob 2. Use crutches and needs a chair with arm rests. We have made sure the game store has two chairs for him. He a "Sugar rushed 13 year old who can't stay on topic. And a junk food junkie." We do remind him pass our junk food back to us. To say on topic. And don't play other people's PC.

Bob 3. Have not seen him since lockdown. But does not get jokes. And his mom limits his game time and told us to limit his game time. And only allow him to play two character types. Otherwise he will not do his school work. If his mom had NOT told us, we would have NOT known especially with jokes since all the dms were 25+ and he was 13 or 14?

Bob 4. Perfectionist. I gave him his first skull when ran his first game. All the players remind him to slow down, and don't worry if we go off script. It does help that at least his father plays all sessions. We do select his AL modules for him to DM.

Bob 5 is a possible. She is about my age but has not announced any problems. I think she has a reading problem. 2+ years she still hand copies and reads out about half the spells. We just wait on her.
Jasper he is goober, light depression, and needs to go to AA meetings.

edit. Jasper is a lousy editor and thinks he has spelled correcting and put in all the words.
 
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I am DMing for 2 regular players with disorders and 2 sometime players. It varies with the disorder and personality type. Two standards are "extra time". And "Repeat back" especially since both regular players don't pick up on the visual clues. And the next part is not going to very nice.

Bob 1. Various Adventure League DMs did the following. Wrote spells on 3 by 5 or larger cards to include drawings of dice. Think 3 by 5 with magic missile written out and 3d4s. He was told to match his dice to the picture of the dice. His dice rolling varies so much I gave him a dice tray. Currently I treat him as a "Horny 15 year old" when he gets on my nerves. And to speed game play we occasionally count his dice for him. Especially for boss fights when we have a 7 person table. Occasionally we tell him "don't go there" when his conversation goes to far. That varies with who is at the table.

Bob 2. Use crutches and needs a chair with arm rests. We have made sure the game store has two chairs for him. He a "Sugar rushed 13 year old who can't stay on topic. And a junk food junkie." We do remind him pass our junk food back to us. To say on topic. And don't play other people's PC.

Bob 3. Have not seen him since lockdown. But does not get jokes. And his mom limits his game time and told us to limit his game time. And only allow him to play two character types. Otherwise he will not do his school work. If his mom had NOT told us, we would have NOT known especially with jokes since all the dms were 25+ and he was 13 or 14?

Bob 4. Perfectionist. I gave him his first skull when ran his first game. All the players remind him to slow down, and don't worry if we go off script. It does help that at least his father plays all sessions. We do select his AL modules for him to DM.

Bob 5 is a possible. She is about my age but has not announced any problems. I think she has a reading problem. 2+ years she still hand copies and reads out about half the spells. We just wait on her.
Jasper he is goober, light depression, and needs to go to AA meetings.

edit. Jasper is a lousy editor and thinks he has spelled correcting and put in all the words.
Thanks for describing some of the people you play with. Are there any ways that you've seen the games help them?

Edit: fixed typo, says play, not work
 
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jasper

Rotten DM
... insert
Bob 1. Various Adventure League DMs did the following. Wrote spells on 3 by 5 or larger cards to include drawings of dice. Think 3 by 5 with magic missile written out and 3d4s. He was told to match his dice to the picture of the dice. His dice rolling varies so much I gave him a dice tray. Currently I treat him as a "Horny 15 year old" when he gets on my nerves. And to speed game play we occasionally count his dice for him. Especially for boss fights when we have a 7 person table. Occasionally we tell him "don't go there" when his conversation goes to far. That varies with who is at the table.
Bob 2. Use crutches and needs a chair with arm rests. We have made sure the game store has two chairs for him. He a "Sugar rushed 13 year old who can't stay on topic. And a junk food junkie." We do remind him pass our junk food back to us. To say on topic. And don't play other people's PC.
end of insert ....
Thanks for describing some of the people you PLAY with. Are there any ways that you've seen the games help them?
Made some quote changes and I trying very hard not to use real names. You don't need to know. And I have only been given permission by Bob1 to use his real name. And his real name is not Bob.
That is hard to say. Is the GAME or the GROUP? None of us have any training dealing with the various disorders except for those who are teachers like the group's cheerleader.
Most of the group are generally helpful. But we generally keep Bob2 away from Phil. Phil and Bob2 are more a personality conflict than Phil not willing to understand the disorders.

I know both of their reading skills have increased.

Bob 1 social skills have pick up alot. He generally does not do the "date the drow priestess" if a female or teenager is at the table. He does accept his pc deaths, if I ask him twice "are you sure". He does not seem as confused about our jokes. He been playing with group so long now; if a personal problem pops up, we don't if it is us, or his family. His parents divorce about 12-18 months ago. So sometimes, we TRY to remember to ask if he having a problem.

Bob2 his gaming style has not changed much, but before the shut down he was trying to away from his goblin x, or Ranger x build. He has pick up the group's Cheerleader, and my vocal stresses. And he know he is on thin ground when I give him my WTF face. So some of his social skills have picked up. I did have to do "a Come to Jesus" chewing out with him over a minor story award he was upset about. He is schedule to play at my house this weekend. And he is playing a half-orc ranger. But this smart and he is planning ahead. Because another DM said once the lock down is lift, a tier 2 Orcs and Half-orcs AL series will be ran. So his planning skills have improved. And he moved out to his own apartment.
Again, I cannot say if the game or the group. I will go with a mix.
 

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