Learning how to play


Active Member
husband and I have been going to a class that is teaching us how to play with difficult child 2. Play in a teaching/learning kinda way. So far we haven't gotten very far. We spent the first class learning the stages that need to happen before speech. difficult child 2 has some holes in those areas. He doesn't make all the sounds. A few sounds missing I wouldn't be worried about, but he has lots of sounds missing. He has sensory issues. We're getting an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done tomorrow. He doesn't immitate. There are a few that he does but doesn't do very often. Like pretend play, cause and effect, and reciprocal interactions. He gets very simple cause and effect. 'I push a button and the tv turns on' He doesn't get 'I need to tell mom when I want something to get it.' This play is supposed to be one tool to help teach this. Something else difficult child 2 doesn't do is self-regulate. He doesn't calm himself down very well. This translates into many fits and not being calm enough to learn. It also means that if he wakes in the middle of the night he has a hard time going back to sleep. The play program is called Floor Time and isn't intrusive and is child led. I think I'm going to like it. We're supposed to have fun while we do it. Our homework this week is to observe difficult child 2 and see what he likes to do by himself. husband said 'get into everything'. :smirk:


Active Member
I'm glad that you're moving ahead and are pointed in the directions for getting help for difficult child at such a young age. I know you had to push for this and I really commend you--having such early intervention will make a world of difference for him.

I know a lot of parents from another forum who have had really good success from using Floortime. I've come to believe that many of the effective behavioral programs for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)'s such as this one are based on what intuitive parents found worked years before there was a name for Autism or such a thing as "therapy". Keep us posted on how it goes for you.

I don't mean to discourage you but often the self calming in little ones is tied to both language skills and sensory so the "fix" to this is probably going to come gradually. Did I read in another thread they were starting him on a simple card system? How about baby sign? That can be a big help as well. Hopefully you'll find some sensory strategies as well so you have those in your aresenal. Something as simple as bundling up snuggly in a blanket (mummy style) can be very calming but it's a matter of finding the right strategies for the child. My difficult child is very calmed by swinging/spinning motion so we have a therapy swing in the basement. This week he's (difficult child--not husband) out of sorts and unbeknownst to me the hook was finally stripped out of the ceiling and my husband is out of town and I can't fix it. We're really missing it!


Well-Known Member
Emily- The trick with kids like ours is accepting that one size most definitely does not fit all. I ended teaching Duckie to speak very formally by making sounds for her (vowels, consonants, combinations), then saying the word of anything she wanted. Like cup, book, kitty, oyster crackers, bear, etc. Most kids pick up words fairly quickly this way, but Duckie absorbed and absorbed with no apparent vocabulary growth until she opened her mouth one day and out came pouring all these words. She was making two & three words combinations a few weeks after saying more than Dada & Mama.
What I'm saying here is that these skills can take some time to come to fruition. I would also think your son's case may warrant a formal speech assessment and possible intervention since he appears to have some red flags for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).


Active Member
Thanks, he is going to be formally assessed at 30 months. The autism specialist wants to test at 30 because of the language growth between 24-30 months. She is still seeing difficult child 2 and giving us intervention ideas. We also have the ei person come to our home once a month. He is also signed up for the social skills play group and the structured language class through ei. We're just waiting for a sib care spot to open up for easy child. He is also on the waiting list for the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) preschool. The wait is a year long, but they don't take kids until 3 years old. We signed him up at 2 yrs so that by the time the wait is up he'll be at the right age. I hadn't thought of a speech therapist though. I should've. I guess I thought the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) assesment would include speech.

We had a conversation yesterday!!!! It went like this (difficult child 1 was turning on a movie):
difficult child 2 "Play!!"
me "No difficult child 1 is going to hit play."
difficult child 2 "Why?"
me "Because he has finished eating and you haven't."

We've never had a conversation like this before. Normally he is screaming in frustration trying to get me to understand and I'm guessing holding things up and signing trying to hit on the right thing. We're making progress!!! I'm not expecting this everyday, but its nice to see once in a while.