By Monique Simpson – Founder and Speech Pathologist
I clearly remember watching my 3 year old daughter Siena playing with her dolls house. Back then she would put each of her little people precisely into bed with their blankets neatly folded before taking them all out to repeat the idea again and again.
Siena does not have ASD but she used to be quite an anxious child. Her need for repetitive play and predictably was merely a reflection on her internal world and needing to control her outside world. She felt comfortable, safe and motivated by playing in this way especially since so many other aspects of her day were not as black and white.
Take this example and then multiply it by hundreds for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. There is SOOO much about life that does not make sense to them and this will certainly be reflected in their play on lots of different levels.
Many of the families that I treat understandably can be driven nuts by the repetitiveness of their children’s play because at times it can be an in your face reminder of your child’s challenges and basically because it can get boring!
There are so many things to consider when building the variety in play of children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. I have tried to simplify this into three key steps:
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