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Why Kids with Autism Are Drawn to Pokemon Cards

Why Kids with Autism Are Drawn to Pokemon Cards

The Pokemon franchise has captivated audiences worldwide since its inception in the 1990s, becoming a cultural phenomenon that spans video games, trading cards, movies, and more. Interestingly, the Pokemon world has a unique appeal for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). While it would be inaccurate to make a blanket statement about all children with autism, many experts, parents, and educators have noticed a particular affinity for Pokemon cards among this demographic. Here are some reasons why Pokemon cards may be especially engaging for children with ASD.

Predictable Structure

Many children with autism find comfort in predictability and routine. Pokemon cards provide a structured format, with each card displaying specific attributes such as type, attack points, and special abilities. The Pokemon card game itself has a set of standardized rules, creating a predictable framework that is reassuring and understandable. This structured environment facilitates interaction and learning for kids with ASD.

Attention to Detail

Children with autism often have a keen ability to recognize and remember intricate details, a skill set that aligns well with the complex world of Pokemon cards. With the need to memorize creature abilities, types, evolutions, and more, children can engage their focus and categorization skills, finding both satisfaction and enjoyment in the process.

Social Interaction

Children with autism may face challenges in social settings, but many still desire social interaction and friendship. Pokemon cards offer a platform for structured social engagement. Trading and battling with Pokemon cards follow set rules and expectations, simplifying the complexities of social interaction. It provides a common ground for initiating conversations and forming friendships.

Collection and Mastery

Many children with autism have intense interests or "restricted" focuses. Collecting, organizing, and mastering the details of Pokemon cards can be incredibly fulfilling. With varying levels of complexity, from understanding the basics to diving deep into competitive strategies, Pokemon cards offer long-term engagement tailored to each child's level of interest and expertise.

Filling Folders with Cards

Another aspect that may particularly attract children with autism is the act of filling folders with Pokemon cards. The tactile experience of handling the cards, sorting them according to specific categories or sets, and physically placing them into folders can be calming and satisfying. This activity not only appeals to the organizational skills many children with ASD possess but also serves as a constructive way to handle sensory sensitivities, offering a form of tactile engagement that many find soothing.

A Sense of Accomplishment

Achieving goals like completing a set, winning a battle, or successfully trading for a coveted card can provide a meaningful sense of accomplishment. For children with autism, who may struggle with self-esteem due to difficulties in other areas, these achievements can be empowering. They provide an arena in which these children can excel and feel capable, which is vital for their psychological well-being.

Visual and Sensory Appeal

The vibrant colors, intricate designs, and tactile experience of holding and sorting the cards can stimulate many children with ASD, who may have heightened sensory sensitivities. For some, the act of arranging and reorganizing their cards can act as a coping mechanism for managing anxiety or sensory overload.

Pokebundles Ireland commitment to children with ASD

When we started selling our bundles, we worked with a charity that assists children with ASD. We asked them what we could do to maximize value and enjoyment. We built our bundles with this in mind - plenty of variety in colour, numbers, types and evolutions. 

If you are looking for a gift for a child with ASD, we recommend one of the following bundles...


It's crucial to remember that autism is a spectrum disorder, and not all children with autism will be attracted to Pokemon cards. However, for those who are, the benefits are manifold, contributing to cognitive, social, and emotional development. Understanding this connection can give parents and educators a useful tool for engaging children with autism, acting as a gateway for further learning and social interaction.