The Big Top Game is designed for individuals with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) and Non Verbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD). The three most common disorders in the PDD group are Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and PDD not otherwise specified (NOS).
- Increasing interpersonal and communication skills Learning empathy
- Improving skills in expressing feelings
- Improving self-esteem
- Developing more insight into themselves and their condition.
The game is designed additionally to help those who care for and interact with these individuals by helping them gain understanding, develop empathy, and improve interpersonal relationships with the individuals. Players who can benefit include individuals with the disorders, parents, siblings, and friends. This game is a tool to be used by psychologists and counsellors in schools, support groups, and other organisations. PDD or any of the specific disorders or conditions are not mentioned in any part of the game, except the facilitator guide. The theme of the game is that the animals have escaped from the circus, and the players have to work together to rescue them and return them to the circus. This is a cooperative game; there is no competition.
The animals are separate parts of a puzzle. As players rescue animals they add pieces to the puzzle until all animals are rescued, and the puzzle is completed. Instead of pawns, players us circus characters, such as the ringmaster, to move around the board. The rules are designed to encourage players to respond to each card that is picked. Of course, a player does not have to answer the question, but then the player will not earn a ticket to the circus. In this way, passing is permitted, but not encouraged. There are four decks of cards . Each deck of cards is designed to be picked by a different group of people. Individual deck (red ) Sibling deck (orange) Peer deck (yellow) Parent deck (blue) In this way, the game can be of value for all of the above groups. Depending on the circumstances, the facilitator decides whether or not different players will pick from different decks during the game.
Players: 2-6 Ages: Primary