It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Appropriate Play

Who decides what the appropriate way to play with a toy is? Weren't we always, as children, encouraged to use our imaginations? (I believe I may have dangled a participle)

I was talking to a friend who is trying to figure out if there is something 'wrong' with her son. She keeps coming back to autism but, having met the son, I'm not sure that's what it is. Needless to say, she's tired of people saying negative things like "he's not playing with that car appropriately" etc. But these same people fail to give her any positive advice or help her come up with a firm diagnosis. I remember hearing these things all the time. "He's not doing that RIGHT!"

So what is the appropriate way to play with a car? And who decides?


Anonymous farmwifetwo said...

They kept telling me the eldest wasn't playing with his toys appropriately since his imagination was real life situations. Going to McD's, Library, bank etc.

Inappropriate play would be mouthing the toy, banging the toy, throwing it, etc.

Borderline - inability to expand "outside the box". ie. line everything up, build a tower but not a box.

Lack of imagination is considered inappropriate play even if real life situations are used.

Q is?? How verbal is the child, imagination, repetition, OCD habits, sensory issues, social and behavioural. Ability to move and cope in a new location.

Autism is not MR or plus/minus verbal skills. Autism is sensory, spatial, imagination, OCD, coping in new situations, executive function issues, and probably a learning disability tossed in to make it interesting.

Here's the def'n of NLD = autism w/out a speech/language delay. My son has/had a S/L delay but he still has NLD. Which is the true list of "autism" symptoms.

What is NLD? Nonverbal learning disorders (NLD) is a neurological syndrome consisting of specific assets and deficits. The assets include early speech and vocabulary development, remarkable rote memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development and excellent spelling skills. In addition, these individuals have the verbal ability to express themselves eloquently. Moreover, persons with NLD have strong auditory retention. Four major categories of deficits and dysfunction also present themselves:

•motoric (lack of coordination, severe balance problems, and difficulties with graphomotor skills).

•visual-spatial-organizational (lack of image, poor visual recall, faulty spatial perceptions, difficulties with executive function* and problems with spatial relations).

•social (lack of ability to comprehend nonverbal communication, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, and deficits in social judgment and social interaction).

•sensory (sensitivity in any of the sensory modes: visual, auditory, tactile, taste or olfactory)

*definition of executive function: Neuropsychological functions including, but perhaps not limited to, decision making, planning, initiative, assigning priority, sequencing, motor control, emotional regulation, inhibition, problem solving, planning, impulse control, establishing goals, monitoring results of action, self-correcting.

Tue Dec 09, 08:37:00 AM 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, how kids play can raise a lot of red flags whether we want to admit it or not. Or, the child could just be more imaginative than the rest. It is hard to tell. I know when we took M to the Cleveland Clinic the doctor said he could tell more by how M was playing than by anything else. I found that interesting because I really did not see anything strange about how she was playing at the time. I guess I am so used to how she plays. I feel for your friend. It is a long road to diagnosis.

When M was a toddler I never thought twice about how she would play with clothing laying on the floor. It was one of her favorite things to do. She would hold onto a piece and shake it up and down for a very long time. We thought it was adorable. Looking back it was certainly a red flag.

Wed Dec 10, 06:47:00 AM 2008  

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