How does an autistic child play with toys?
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They may use toys exactly as they're designed—playing "house" with a pretend kitchen and eating plastic food. Or they may make up their own creative pretend play, turning a box into a fortress or a stuffed animal into a talking playmate. Children with autism rarely develop symbolic play skills without help.
Here’s how to help your autistic child with toy play:
- Sit in front of your child so your child can look at you, communicate with you, and see what you’re doing. This also...
- Offer two or three toys your child enjoys. This gives your child a choice, but doesn’t overwhelm your child.
- Let your child lead the play. For example, if your child is spinning the wheels of a car,...
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Start by playing alongside with your own set of toys and get attention by exaggerating your facial expression, making a noise or blowing on them, for example. Move on to exchanging toys. Then try sharing ONE toy – their turn will have to be much longer than yours. A child with autism usually feels more secure if you join him in his activity than if you try to change things or introduce something completely new.
Best toys for preschoolers with autism Play is an important part of childhood — and it’s not just fun and games. Play lets children be creative and run with their imaginations. For children with...
Teach and demonstrate how to have fun: Children with autism may require a demonstration of how to play with a toy. Play skills may not come naturally to a child with autism, and they may benefit from a peer or an adult to help them play with a toy or object. Don’t assume that the child doesn’t want to play with the toy.
Typically-developing children watch how others play with toys and imitate them. For example, a typically developing child might choose to line up blocks one next to the other the first time they play with them. But as soon as the typically developing child sees others build with the blocks, the child will imitate that behavior.
Updated on October 22, 2020. If there's one issue that's shared by all young children with autism, it's difficulty with ordinary play skills. Little ones with autism may line up or stack toys, play by themselves and resist interaction with their peers, or simply spin, rock or otherwise spend time in their own world.
Here’s how to help your autistic child with toy play: Sit in front of your child so your child can look at you, communicate with you, and see what you’re doing. This also... Offer two or three toys your child enjoys. This gives your child a choice, but doesn’t overwhelm your child. Let your child ...
Play therapy works by allowing ‘free play’ or ‘unstructured play’ sessions whereby children naturally expose their vulnerabilities and anxieties. A play therapist will observe the child playing with various therapy toys and note any recurring themes that may stem from trauma or anxiety.
In children with ASD, play can be very limited. For example, a child may want to play alone, engage in repetitive play like lining up toys or moving from them from point A to point B and then back again, or play with the same thing over and over. Children can learn play skills with guidance and by structuring play.