People of all ages are slowly becoming obsessed with the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go but for some, it’s more than just a game.
Lenore Koppelmon, mum to Ralphie who has autism, said the augmented reality location-based game has changed her son’s life.
The New-York based mum said, thanks to a suggestion from a fellow mother, her son was “shrieking with excitement” after he was finally introduced to it.
But not only that, he’s started socialising, verbalising and interacting well with others.
“A little boy saw him and recognised what he was doing. They immediately had something in common.
“He asked Ralphie how many he had caught. Ralph didn’t really answer him, other than to shriek ‘POKEMON’ and jump up and down with excitement while flapping his arms.”
Koppelmon continued: “Then the little boy showed him how many he had caught (over 100) and Ralph said ‘WOWWWW!’ and they high-fived.
“I almost cried.”
The mother went on to explain how Ralphie spent the afternoon catching Pokémon and chatting to a girl in the playground about them - something he had never done before.
“Then the girl pointed out to him that there was a lot of Pokémon activity at the playground and he begged to go,” Koppelmon wrote.
“He never wants to go to the playground at night, because it’s out of his usual routine. He is normally so rigid about his routine.
“But tonight he was happy to change things up, and do it. We were in shock!”
The mother said: “When we got to the playground, other kids ran up to him to hunt for Pokémon together.
“He was interacting with other kids. Holy crap! I didn’t know if I should laugh, or cry.
“MY AUTISTIC CHILD WAS SOCIALISING. Talking to people. Smiling at people. Verbalising. With total strangers. Looking up at them.
“Sometimes even in the eye. Laughing with them. Sharing something in common. This is amazing.”
The Facebook post, uploaded on 13 July, has had more than 300 shares in two days.
Other parents who have children with autism have shared similar experiences.
“My son with autism has always enjoyed Pokemon and now with this app, he has a newly rejuvenated enthusiasm,” one mother wrote.
“Our whole family is playing along! So happy for Ralphie!”
Another parent wrote: “My son Aaron usually wants to stay home and stick to his routine but oday he went to the park with his sister in 100 degree weather to hunt Pokémon!
“I normally hate fads but this game is amazing.”