Here is an enjoyable website activity that will allow you and your child to create a fantasy Sensory Room. The sensory room has options like what kind of bubble to put in the bubble tubes and what kind of music to play on the boombox. I am always looking at these things as context for some communication goal since that is what I do. Here is my idea: Have each person in the family create their own personal favorite sensory room. Talk about colors, music, themes, and all the other choices comparing what Mom likes and Dad likes and sister likes and so on. Print each fantasy sensory room out when all choices have been made.
For some children this would be a joint attention game. For others a turn-taking activity. For still other, an opportunity to learn new vocabulary words. For children with strong language skills, you might want to make a chart and compare and contrast the way each person was the same or was different from others in the family. E.g. Dad loves bats but Mom loves fish. Mom and Dad both liked the star sky. I would think of this as a Theory of Mind game because it illustrates for the child differences and similarities in the way different people think.
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.
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