Why does my child play alone?

Children with autism may prefer to play alone. This can make it hard for members of their family to know how to interact with them.

All children play. They just do it in different ways. Some children like playing with other people, some prefer to play alone. Some children actively seek out other children to play with, others seek out a quiet space where they can be on their own.

Autistic children may have toys that they like to play with in a specific way. They might enjoy jumping on a trampoline, or watching a specific clip of a video. There may be only a few toys that they play with.

The activities that children with autism like to engage in may be those that they can do alone. It may be that the children don’t see the “purpose”, for want of a better word, of other people. Children can keep themselves entertained on their own for hours – why would they need anyone else?

Does this sound familiar?

If so, you may first need to teach them that it is beneficial to have you around at these times. That you can make the activity more fun that it is when they play alone. For example, they can bounce higher on the trampoline when you join them. You have more trains to add to the train track, you can pour the water in the bath from higher up, you can open the jar with the best colouring pens etc.

You then become a person who is good to have around when they play with particular items. This will then make it more natural, and easier for you to join in with activities and play.

This is also the case when with other people, so when in the playground, the roundabout goes faster when a sibling pushes it, or a particular family member know where specific items are kept at home. It can be done in many places, not just with you at home.

Any questions? http://earlyactionforautism.co.uk/contact/

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