This is an official shout out to Satoshi Tajiri for creating the infamous Pokémon. You’re the real MVP, Satoshi.This is seriously awesome. I know so many autism parents whose children have an obsession with Pokémon, including my own little boy. But did you know, the creator of Pokémon, Satoshi Tajiri, has autism as well?
Satoshi has even said that he “wanted the games to give children the same joy as he had during his bug collecting.” People with autism often gravitate toward collecting as a hobby, so Satoshi gave them (and everyone else) a gift that only he could create: a whole new thing to collect.
Does everyone else see how amazing this is?! My son discovered Pokémon last year when Pokémon Go was released. I downloaded the app on my phone to play for the nostalgia. Of course it wasn’t long before the kids all wanted a turn playing too. This day was the beginning of a new era for my son, the Pokémon Era, from that day on nothing else has mattered. All other obsessions and interests .. gone. A thing of the past, barely a speck in his memory. His mind is now a never ending ocean of Pokémon.
I’m going to stop right here to tell you a story — he once woke me up at 2 am, yes the middle of the night, to ask me, if I was aware that Alakazam has five spoons when he mega evolves instead of two. This was plaguing his mind for all hours of the night, wondering if his poor sleeping mother knew how many spoons he had.
As I was saying, first there was Pokémon Go. Then he started playing the games – to date, he has beat (some more than once) Pokémon X, Y, Sun, Moon, Alpha Sapphire, Omega Ruby, Mystery Dungeon, Pokémon Rumble, and most recently Magikarp Jump. He has played the old school Gameboy and Gameboy color games, too. This is a six year old. He beat Pokémon Sun for the second time in a weekend. If you’re not part of the Pokémon scene please understand that is seriously impressive.
But it doesn’t stop there – he has thousands of cards. Actually thousands, I’m not exaggerating, including some quite valuable ones that he either completely lucked out in getting or that his father or I purchased for him online. He’s watched all the episodes of the show. All the movies. He has read books and coloured in colouring books. He can also draw them, impressively well and invent his own Pokémon, or imagine his own moves for them. He has Pokémon hats, pins, shirts, binders, pencils, water bottles — if it exists with the Pokémon brand on it, he owns it. I have to pretend, on a daily basis, to be a Dragonite because he is my baby Dratini.
Thank You, Satoshi Tajiri
So now let me get to the part where I thank Satoshi Tarjiri for what has become the bane of my existence for the last year. This empire that you have built has brought so much good to my child, and for exactly the reason you said you created Pokémon in the first place. He has an area of expertise that he can talk to other children about, he’s made friends by helping them with their games, he’s had so much fun on family outings chasing down Pokémon on my phone.
But best of all is his success with the TCG. He recently went to a comic store where they host games with the trading cards. I don’t know a lot about this, but my son learnt to play from his dad. He went to the comic store with his deck and he beat everyone he challenged. Including two adults . As a matter of fact, he was so good that people were circling around his table to watch because they had never witnessed a child play the game so well. This was such a HUGE boost in confidence! For once he was the best at something, my self conscious little boy who worries he wont be good at things all the time — he was the best one. And he knew it. And that smile on his face as he told me about it makes pretending to be a Dragonite everyday completely worth it.
He wouldn’t have had that experience without Satoshi Tajiri. So thank you. I can’t say it enough times, thank you.