I am home from a lovely three week vacation in Europe. I spent most of the time at my daughter's new home in Leiden which is in The Netherlands. She has taken a teaching position at the American School of The Hague. We biked to her work some mornings, her dad and I and Serene--sometimes in the company of other newly hired American teachers. We helped her put up bulletin boards in her classroom the week before school started, hung pictures in her apartment, unpacked her dishes when her household shipment came from her last international teaching position in Serbia, and made dinner for her at night when she was not taking us out to eat at amazing restaurants. We have not been so involved in her daily life for well over a decade and it was fun. She worked long and hard getting acquainted with a new school system and her dad and I played all day. We took the amazingly convenient train to other cities like The Hague and Amsterdam. (Why don't we have a good train system in the US?) We biked in the Centrum of Leiden, getting lost dozens of times but having fun wherever we were. We saw windmills and canals and magificent buildings that for Americans are jaw droppingly old. In every way it was a great vacation. Now I am back and already percolating new ideas for games, based in part on my European Adventure.
Why Games? is a discussion about why playing with your child is important and how structured games can make your play times more successful. Creating Common Ground is a discussion of how to get started with children who are not yet talking and often move away, ignore you, or protest when you try to play.
Playing is like breathing, hugging, prayer--you need to play. Everyone needs to play.Playing is a means of growing attraction between any two souls. You suspect two people are falling in love if they start to play together.If you want a child to love you, learn from you, imitate you, communicate with you, enjoy you--then play with that child. Both of you will experience joy.
It sometimes helps, when one is trying to understand the meaning of a phenomenon , to see that phenomenon in a different context. Watch here as a Husky and a Polar Bear come together in play. Although not as dramatic, I recently saw a rabbit and a squirrel play together in my back yard. Who knew this even happened? Watching them, I felt they provided me with a confirmation, yet again, of the importance of play to the well-being of all beings who are capable of playing. Dr. Stuart Brown Director of the National Institute of Play, speaking in 2007 on Speaking of Faith, describes how play promotes trust, empathy, and adaptability to life's complications. I see the capacity to communicate and enjoy social interaction grow every day with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders as they play with family and friends at the clinic where I practice. This blog and the companion web site, Autism Games are dedicated to inspiring you, fellow lover of a child with autism, to play in a thousand different ways and for a thousand different reasons with your child.
The contents of Autism Games (autismgames.blogspot.com) are for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should seek the advice of your health care provider regarding any questions you have. You should not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on Autism Games. Autism Games disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on the information on this website.