I remember when my oldest son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it answered a lot of questions but was also a scary time. I just remember having so many questions at that time about how to relate to my son, who was then three years old. It seemed to be so hard to communicate with him, and find a way to play with him when he was really engrossed in a particular toy or activity.
Sometimes when I am reading a magazine and come across something that I think is great, I’ll tear it out, thinking, “I’ll reread this later.” Sometimes, later never comes. Other times, it’s over a year later 🙂 This is something I came across in Parents magazine, in June of 2012. It’s a short little blurb about how to kids on the autism spectrum respond to simple imitation exercises.
- Step 1: Pull out similar toys for you both to play with, such as two stuffed animals or a couple of trains.
- Step 2: Watch your child’s sounds and movements, and copy them. If she makes her stuffed animal jump in the air, let yours do the same. Continue this for one or two minutes.
- Step 3: Switch roles and model something new to do with the toy, such as running your train up your leg. Repeat this three times times to encourage your child to imitate you. If he does follow your movements, praise him and return to copying his actions. If not, gently guide him through the imitation.