Autism and Social Skills

by beagooddad on April 7, 2008

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A fair amount of the work Pookie does in preschool is geared around him learning how to play with others and I’m sure that will be the case if he gets into the typically developing kindergarten.

I often wonder how much time will be spent getting the other kids to play his games. Probably none which is a bummer. His games are often not “age appropriate” but at this stage, kids love playing Pookie’s games. He is always poking around and rearranging things into fun, exciting ways that often appeal to other kids.

One of the recent examples happened a couple times this weekend. Pookie marched up and down the stairs a bunch of times moving the stuffed animal collection from their beds to our couch (where BeAGoodMom and I were sitting). Then he proceeded to bury us and then climb on top.

I have no idea what age group this kind of game is “typically” a fun game, but Geetle saw the commotion and joined right in. And before you knew it, two 5 year olds were playing together and having a great time.

One of them had autism, one didn’t. Neither cared and both had fun.

Hopefully, the teachers will recognize that an important part of playing “typically” is being the kid to decide what to play from time to time and having the other kids join in. After all, do you think Pookie will be more comfortable socially being forced to play some games he might not understand and probably doesn’t want to play or playing a game that he is really interested in that happens to attract the attention of other kids who will start pestering him with questions about the rules of this game he loves?

Could you imagine how much fun Pookie would have if the class spent a half hour all spinning tops together while lying on the ground or chasing bubbles blown by a teacher or drawing smiley faces over and over on the whiteboard?

I bet it would really help Pookie feel comfortable around his classmates which seems like would be a good thing for his social skills.

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