@Illithidbix Thank you for your reply, while I understand what you mean about treating this as a therapy, that is certainly not my intent and I don’t believe the author of the article intended for it to be used that way, if my memory serves me the article was written by a child psychologist specalising in Autism. Rather the intention and concept is to provide the child with an environment in which they feel safe and comfortable in. For those who encounter people who suffer with Autism know they can find the real world a complicated and daunting place, where we expect them to adapt and change their behaviors in order to suit the ideal desires of the rest of us. Of course we all know the reality here is far from that, particular in the case of a child it can be very difficult for them to even understand how something they do may be perceived as wrong.
LARP provides them an opportunity to build and play a character which feels natural to them, in the case of my nephew he finds new people strange and does something I’ve never seen other people do! He will ignore anyone he does not know and watch them, he will mimic their actions if they itch their nose he will too, if they get up, he gets up and so on. He will do this for some time and then when he feels comfortable he will then go up and just sit himself down next to them, no asking, no regard for what this person might be doing or who they maybe sitting with, he will just go and sit there. For most people this is not acceptable nor comfortable and while we hope he will learn to adjust his behavior towards new people its certainly not going to happen overnight.
I believe it’s these characteristics in which the author was trying to engage with (will try and find the article again.) While you and I have to put on a performance for a character with the above traits it would require some concentration and effort (although I suspect in this environment could be fun) for someone who naturally does this, they are able to fully immerse themselves in the character and as you mentioned are able to play fantastic characters.
As for the Academy I need to look into this further to better understand it. It would be great to hear of other peoples experiences.
@Tomj I understand your point here, am I convinced Empire is right for him? In all honesty I’m not, I think the game could be to complicated for him with all the politics etc. I do however believe he would thrive in the environment and what child does not want to get dressed up and kill some orcs? However it is for these reasons that Empire appeals to me. I certainly would not take him along on my first trip as I need to gauge the suitability. I do however feel that he would thoroughly enjoy the experience of playing a character from the minute he wakes to the minute he sleeps, also Empire has the added advantage of not being to far down the road from us that should it not go as planned his parents could easily pick him up.
Thank you both for your replies they are greatly appreciated.