SLP 041 The Importance of Play for all ages and stages

Sue Larkey Podcast

It is through play that young children learn about and make sense of the world. They experiment with
being a Mum or Dad as they act out what they have observed in daily life, e.g. feeding the baby and
going to the shops. As children play they develop their cognitive and motor skills, increase their
communication and social ability and above all have fun.
Play for young children with autism is frequently centered on repetitive actions, e.g. spinning car wheels
rather than pushing the car, lining blocks up rather than building towers. They don’t seem to know
how to do what comes instinctively to other children. A young child with autism needs to be taught
how to play step by step. Be dramatic as you play with your child in order to attract and maintain their
attention. Add to the richness of the play by making noises, e.g. ball going down (wheee) doll crying
(waa), car horn (beep, beep).

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