By Kodey Toney
Let's Get It Started
This week I want to revisit parallel play. This is something that is very prominent in children on the Autism Spectrum.
This may be a good time to mention something that most parents already know, but there is a chance there is someone reading that doesn't understand. Those on the spectrum usually lack social and language skills. Those are the signs that a doctor looks for when evaluating someone for autism.
It only stands to reason that when a child with ASD tries to interact there is a some confusion. They're never quite sure what to do, unless they are taught, so they will mock, or mimic the children around them. While they do many of the things that their peers do they never actually engage with them and interact.
I first learned about this when Konner was in head start. Konner would go up to someone in the block station, watch them, mock their actions, but never talk to them.
Though Konner has learned to interact better, I noticed Sunday that he still has some of those characteristics. We were at his cousin's birthday party and all of the other kids were throwing water balloons. Konner stayed beside me and paced a little, but I could tell he wanted to play with the other kids. I told him to go grab a balloon. He went to the basket and watched for a few seconds. Then he elbowed his way in and grabbed a balloon. He watched a few kids and then threw one and hit a little boy in the face. While this was a little rough I knew he was just trying to do what the others were doing.
While he does interact way better than he did seven or eight years ago he still has some issues. We're working on it though.