General Instruction to parents:
- Children with an ASD have a different perception of sounds, sights, smell, touch, and taste, which affects their response to these sensations. So if the child doesn’t respond properly to any activity please DO NOT GIVE UP. Try changing the words you use for the game or activity, or changes in pitch of the speech, change in the tone of the communication etc will give a good outcome. To work with Autistic children parents should be willing to go into their world to bring them into our world. Parents, Family members, Volunteers should literally should do “Put yourself in their shoe “phrase. To help Autistic children the “understanding what it’s like to be in their position” has to feel by Parents and others. Understanding the problem is the first step to solve the problem.
- Do not play in the same way. It will lead robotic play. That is the child just copies you without understanding like an echo.
- Use imagination to improve the game whenever possible on the basis of your child interest, needs etc.
- Introduce new language with actions during the games. When needed use pictures.
- Observe the child where it’s struggling and try help to overcome the struggling. When the child struggles to understand, change the way of the game or simplify the game to your child needs.
- Don’t expect too much from your child while you start to play but whatever the child achieves appreciate by words, hugs etc. Each new word, action, thinking everything shows your child is forwarding.
1. Peek-a-Boo (Parent Initiate):
peek-a-boo is a well-known fun game to play with your child. The parent should hide their face, after few seconds pop back, look at the child and say peek a Boo in an excited voice. It is a really a basic and simple game but makes the child think, remember and process.
Advantages of this game: If the child laughs and tries to copy you, then the child is joining, enjoying, and responding. Try to get eye contact but don’t force it. It will spoil the game. To get eye contact play on your child eye level. In this game parent able to get some language with appropriate action.
The child may not say words but doing appropriate actions also shows the child is communicating with you. Improve the game by changing words like “peek a boo”, “I can see you”, close your face with a cloth and say” where is say your child name?”,” I can’t see you” etc. Do not play in the same way.
Change the things you use like one day just use books to hide your face and in bedtime use quilt or pillow or anything your child like. When you keep changing things and words, the robotic kind of copying will be avoided. The child also can adapt the change and learn different actions, words and above all that it’s truly fun and relaxing.
2. Peek-a-Boo (Child initiates):
The same peek a Boo game, encourage your child to initiate the game and play with you or with his favorite teddy. Spread lots of options like a pillow, soft cloth, behind a curtain, behind any objects etc.
See whether child able to use different things to play the game. If the child uses different things to play the same game, the child is thinking, do not play robotically and rigid manner. Appreciate and encourage each time your child change the game even in a small way.
3. Spinning as a game:
Autistic children love to spin or watch spinning things again and again. They love to spin over and over. A parent can exploit this fascination in a really good way. If the spin a plate over and over, stick some pictures which you want the child to learn. It can be a family member’s pictures, or emotion pictures, food or anything.
When the spinning is over and the plate fell down, shout the picture whichever shows. Better to make lots of cardboard circles and stick pictures whichever you want to teach. If you play with emotions, whichever emotion come to act like that. Make it as a game, by guessing which picture will show up.
Use imagination and improve the game on the basis of child interest, improvement. These games help the parent to teach the child language, joining, respond, flexibility etc.
Advantages of the game: Make the child learn to take turns in games. Help the child to guess. Instead of spinning roll the cardboard and which way it falls, winning and losing, not robotic and rigid. Encourage child use appropriate words and actions towards the whole game.
4. Pillow fight:
I would say it’s the best game to laugh, make your child join, respond and connect with you. It’s truly fun and light-hearted. A parent can play this game when the child is suffering from not sleeping.
This game makes them relax; laugh and surely it will make them tired too! When the child couldn’t sleep, this game distracts and relaxes them. I assure you this game would be most of the children favorite one and parent can play anytime.
Use the game for role play. A parent should pretend like a monster and child act like a hero who hit the monster or catches the monster with a big duet. Use imagination and improve the game according to your child interest.
Advantages of the game: Joining, enjoying, and not robotically played by the child and chance to introduce lots of language and actions during the game. Play with other siblings and as a whole family.
It will help the siblings to bond and initiate siblings play these games with their autistic brother or sister on their own. Remember, an autistic child learns by coping. Once the child understood the game, play the game with other same age kids whenever possible. It will result in tremendous improvement in your child.
5. Sausage roll game:
Spread the quilt on the bed or on the carpeted floor. Ask the child lie on the quilt. Then role the child. Be careful. DO NOT COVER THE FACE. Leave the face and roll only the body. Autistic child like the pressure of rolling and makes them relax. While rolling use lots of language with appropriate action.
While you are playing use the language slowly and appropriately to get good results. Then release them by pulling from one end. Take more care while playing this game as no one get hurt or suffocate. It’s really a fun game.