Cody’s Favorite Game – How Sorry & Autism Go Together

Ever since I can remember I have always loved to play board games. While I don’t recall playing them very often as a child I do remember asking for the original Trivial Pursuit one year for my birthday. I was so excited when I unwrapped it that year, but I think it ended up spending more time on a shelf in my bedroom closet than being played since Trivial Pursuit by yourself isn’t all that fun. I still have that game and I’m so grateful to be married to a man who shares my love for board games and a good trivia challenge. It only makes sense that we have accumulated enough games over the years to line several shelves, many classic games and several newer ones, and that we would want to introduce them to Cody and Nick and play them all for hours and hours.

When Cody was little most of the board games we purchased were simple and age appropriate, like Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and oh boy did we play a lot of HiHo Cherry-O! They were fun and engaging and a great way to work on basic skills like counting without it feeling like actual work for us or for him. As he got older Cody’s autism unfortunately got in the way when we were choosing board games for the family. They were either too challenging for him cognitively speaking or he just wasn’t interested in sitting down to play. As parents we were often torn because even though we knew he wasn’t capable of playing more complicated games like Monopoly or Risk we still wanted to enjoy them with Nick, but hated leaving Cody out. Realistically I know he is much happier doing something else, but as a Mom I have always yearned for a day when we could sit as a family and spend an afternoon playing board games.

Classic Sorry Board Game

I had all but given up hope until recently when I learned there is, in fact, a classic game that Cody has been playing at school for quite some time. I was surprised and downright thrilled, but also a little stunned that this particular game wasn’t already sitting on one of our game shelves. I mean, what kind of a family doesn’t own a Sorry board game? Needless to say, I rushed out and bought it, the classic edition of course, and couldn’t wait to sit down with Cody to play. Initially I wondered how willing he’d be to play it since he’s always hesitated to play anything with us in the past, but OHMYGOSH I barely got the question out of my mouth and he was sitting at the kitchen table declaring that he would like to be “red”.  I may have shed a tear or two.

I realize that Sorry is a pretty basic board game for the most part, but there is definitely some strategy involved and the fact that Cody has been able to not only play, but a lot of times win, makes me prouder than I can express. Not only does he stop and think about the best move when he draws a Sorry card, but he most recently mastered using the “7” in the best strategic way possible. Possibly the most impressive thing he does, though, and this is something that nobody actually taught him, is to  keep his last pawn close to the start and wait patiently for a (backwards) “4” so he can slide his piece back a few spaces and glide on into home. Smooth. Very smooth.

Even though Sorry might not be a good fit for every child or young adult with autism, I’m beyond ecstatic that is happens to be a good one for my son because now we can sit together as a family and play a board game. A simple activity for some, but for us it’s a powerful example of how you should never underestimate anyone with autism and one we will most certainly never take for granted.


  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    Sorry is such a fun game. My youngest son loves it.

  2. We have this game, I have never played it with my kids. I need to see if my kids will enjoy it like I did when I was younger.

    • Oh I bet they would love it, but if they are really young you might try introducing it to them without the actual “Sorry” cards to help reduce initial frustration. 🙂

  3. Sorry is one of my kids favorite games I am glad that it is working to help your son too.

  4. I used to love Trivial Pursuit! My Mom (a 5th grade teacher) used to totally demolish my siblings and I no matter how hard we tried to win. Every single time. LOL

    • Your Mom and I sound pretty similar because I have a really hard time “letting” kids win, no matter how young or old they are, due to my competitive nature. Maybe you should challenge her to a game now and see if you can finally beat her!

  5. I have always loved Sorry! I played it all the time with my nieces when they were little.
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  6. Thanks for sharing. My girlfriend has a child with autism and I am going to tell her about your success with SORRY! You never know, you might be onto something that scientists haven’t discovered yet. SORRY! is a fun game and maybe I can even buy it for my friend for Christmas.
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    • Oh you have no idea how much I appreciate your comment, Nancy. Every person with autism is definitely very different, but you’re right….you never know! I hope your friend can have similar success with her child, with Sorry or maybe even some other board game.

  7. When I was younger I loved this game too! I’d play with my siblings and father.

  8. Lois Alter Mark says

    My family used to love playing Sorry when my kids were little. I’m glad it’s been a good game for your son, too.

  9. In all these years, I don’t think I ever learned the backwards 4 into home trick. He taught me something and I’m totally winning the game from now on because of it. 😉

  10. I remember that game! I love some of those classic games. I also recently was re-taught how to play crib by an old friend. That was so much fun!
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    • Sorry is such a classic, fun game isn’t it? I’m so glad we finally added to our family collection of board games. Do you mean cribbage? I’m not sure I’ve heard of crib before?

  11. I love when my kids surprise me too! I am so glad you found a game to play with him

  12. Elizabeth O. says

    I’m happy that your son Cody is a Sorry master!

  13. This is such a touching post, thank you for sharing with us! I wish you, your son, and your entire family many happy Sorry games 🙂
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  14. I remember this game when I was a kid. From your photo it looks like it has upgraded from what I remember.

  15. I admit, we don’t own the Sorry board game but we should add it to our collection! I’m so glad to hear that Cody has mastered the game!
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  16. Sorry is one of my favorite games to play with the kids! I love the new fire and ice version!
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  17. There is nothing more precious than the smile of our children and the joy we feel when they are able to succeed at something they attempt.

  18. We all love Sorry. I am glad you found a game that connects.
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  19. I’m glad you found a game that worked out well. I like Sorry, that’s been a fave since I was a kid and I play it now with my kids too. 🙂

  20. Looks like a fun game. And happy to hear that you enjoy this game with Cody!
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  21. I have fond memories of playing Sorry as a kid with brother. I always wanted to be blue! 😉

  22. I’ve never heard of Sorry before but sounds like I need to buy it for my own family! I can imagine how amazing it must be to find something you can all enjoy 🙂

  23. Lexie Lane says

    One of my favorites this is and easy enough for anyone to learn too. Makes me think my almost 4 year old might just be ready for this. Glad your son does love it.

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