Angry Birds

Linda, loves music, she loves dancing, she loves babies, she loves aeroplanes… These things, although an eclectic collection of passions, are probably familiar to many people who know someone with Williams Syndrome.

Never has Linda been particularly interested in computer games, until now.

I guess she is used to seeing me come home, sit on the sofa and check emails on my laptop. I noticed she was beginning to mirror this behaviour and get out her mobile phone to review text messages… and I wondered… would she like to join in?

Together we explored a number of different games apps for my iPhone4. Some were too simple, many too intricate, some too cerebral. I thought that Parcel Panic might be the one. Driving a car, collecting and delivering parcels, but no, this didn’t capture her imagination. Or did it just require too much visio-spatial co-ordination?

Angry Birds opening screenWe hit the sweet spot with Angry Birds. A simple game with a catchy tune. For Linda and her Williams Syndrome fascination with music that’s a good enough reason to pay attention!

The simple attack strategy also proved to be surprisingly popular. Firing birds to smash down the shelters and pop the pigs… This very simple strategy has proved as addictive for Linda as it has for millions of people who have downloaded the Apple or Android app over the last few months.

This interest was the final encouragement we needed to bite the bullet and buy an iPad.

At first she was so clumsy with her control of the catapult. More birds bounced backwards than forwards but still she persisted. And slowly she gained control. By trial and error, through long patient play times she now has a much better idea of angles and tactics needed to get through the different levels.

The improvement in her hand-eye co-ordination has been impressive. Not only that, I was overjoyed to see her teaching one of her carers how to play the game on her own iPhone recently. Now for Linda, that’s an achievement!

So have you found any other games or apps that work for your Williams person. I’d love to hear your ideas or suggestions so do leave a comment below!