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Autistic son doesn't play with anything

(58 Posts)
Hatade16 Sat 31-Dec-16 14:44:33

Bought ds alsorts this year, Lego, playmobil, minecraft stuff. He hasn't touched a thing. He has Autism and adores his ipad/wii u.

I don't know what to do for his birthdays or Xmas anymore? He literally doesn't play with anything, and if I force him to it lasts 5 mins.


FlouncingInAWinterWonderland Sat 31-Dec-16 15:00:49

DS1, now 13, is also Autistic. He's never really done toys but does build lego that he keeps assem led on extensive shelving and plays minecraft (no interest in associated merchandice).

This year he had a hot water machine and thermal plastic mugs, some teaspoons, hot chocolate in various forms. Other years he's had a small portable rechargeable vacuum, fluffy pillows, fleece blankets, stationery etc.

Its our need for them to conform, not their need for presents. It helps me to fulfil my and his needs by wrapping practical stuff like new school bag, fleece jumpers, food stuff that he likes, note books.

I also find that he gets around to his presents in his own good time, when pressure is off.

There are enough day to day challenges, if he's not distressed by this situation can you also try not to be?

marthastew Sat 31-Dec-16 15:06:12

I also have a DS 5 with ASD. Does he enjoy other activities? Cooking, cleaning, gardening, jigsaws? My son watches YouTube to relax and as others have said life with ASD is so tough.

Reality16 Sat 31-Dec-16 15:08:06

I have given my autistic DS money for his birthday since he was 8. Now 14 at Christmas he got a PS4, new monitor for his PC, games that I knew he wanted and some Jaffa cakes. I don't wrap day to day stuff, he isn't interested.

Fairylea Sat 31-Dec-16 15:08:40

Same situation here. Dd aged 4 with asd. He got so much stuff for Christmas and hasn't really been bothered about any of if! He just wants to go on the iPad. To be fair I think we buy so much because we think we should, not because they want it. With ds I think he struggles to play imaginitive games so unless it's something like an iPad or electronic device he's really not interested.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 31-Dec-16 15:11:11

Know a boy with ASD and he is very into Knights and swords, spending most of his time dressed as a knight in full regalia.
Also noticed one very keen on kinestic sand, if lm calling it the right thing.
All you can do is present him with stuff and offer him opportunities. But l would persist with board games as it's good for him socially and limit screens in spite of all the protests.

JigglyTuff Sat 31-Dec-16 15:12:51

DS got loads of stuff, including a PC. He has basically done nothing but play Minecraft on the new PC since Xmas day.

I figure that he'll start doing the other stuff when I put time limits on the computer once he starts back to school

WitchSharkadder Sat 31-Dec-16 15:13:11

Same with my DS (14). He's never been interested in 'stuff' in fact he hates it so much that he completely refuses to have anything other than a bed in his room. His clothes have to be stored in my bedroom. I get around it a bit at birthdays/Christmas by buying him consumable stuff, he loves live gigs so I buy him tickets for bands/shows, cinema vouchers and then sweets etc as stocking fillers.

MyWhatICallNameChange Sat 31-Dec-16 15:17:42

It's so hard. I have two boys who are autistic and they don't really play with toys either. They like minecraft so I bought them figures for that but they never get played with.

This year the eldest one got a planetarium thing as he likes space, a space related t-shirt and a minecraft book. His pile of presents was small, but I'm not buying things just for the sake of it only for them to get ignored or left lying around and getting broken.

My youngest got a mario question block light, an amiibo for the Wii u and books.

They do like lights so that sort of sensory stuff is good.

EineKleine Sun 01-Jan-17 08:25:09

DS is 7 and has no diagnosis but we are kicking off getting him assessed with the school's support. I was glad it was just me and DH watching him opening his stocking as he wasn't very grateful! His favourite thing was a new tangle toy. I found a couple of book sets that I think he'll like though. Mainly he just wanted things he already owned - Match Attax cards and a "twin" for his favourite soft toy. I took a punt on a Flipazoo soft toy which seems to have gone down well too, and he will like owning fleecy PJs and hoodie.

He was adamant earlier this year that he didn't want a 2 wheeler scooter, but father christmas bought him one anyway and he accepted it better than I thought he would. I think he just can't imagine owning anything he doesn't already own.

SloanePeterson Sun 01-Jan-17 08:33:06

My ds is 8 and also has asd. He's obsessed with his tablet and the wii U just like your ds op. The thing that went down best of all this year was an enormous box of recycling that we've been saving for the last two months confused He's been having a blast constructing stuff out of the boxes in there and I think we'll keep topping up the box rather than the bin in future. I also spent far too much money on eBay buying him a patchwork blanket with all his minecraft and YouTube heroes on it, dantdm, stampy etc and he really appreciated that too. My ds tends to enjoy things with a potential to create a huge collection, so Lego had been a past obsession and now it's skylanders. My parents bought him a couple of new skylanders and he couldn't have been more pleased.

bearsnumberonefan Sun 01-Jan-17 09:12:13

I have a dsc,7, currently undergoing asd assessment. She's never played with toys, has no interest in them, and declares for Birthday/Christmas she wants nothing. As pp said buying presents is us trying to make them conform, now working to the child, which is very hard. Dsc loves playing board games though, so we get her one and put money in a savings account.

clementineorange Sun 01-Jan-17 09:23:02

Video modeling. Look up behaviorbabe on YouTube. Children with autism need to be taught how to play. Video modeling is an evidence based approach to teaching this skill smile

Reality16 Sun 01-Jan-17 10:35:17

Video modeling. Look up behaviorbabe on YouTube. Children with autism need to be taught how to play. WTF. WHY? why do they NEED to be taught to play? To suit who's needs? Certainly not their own.

I am of the approach where I am happy to let my autistic DS do what makes him happy and I would never dream of trying to force some sort of behaviour on him to make him for into the stereotypical box for a child of his age.

The biggest fight autistic children have is with acceptance. Don't try to change them, work WITH them. So bloody what if they don't want to play with toys, it's not the end of the world and it certainly doesn't divine their future. Fuck sake let them be.

idratherbeonthebeach Sun 01-Jan-17 16:39:58

What would happen if you took the iPad away?

SloanePeterson Sun 01-Jan-17 16:51:39

In our case, severe meltdown. I personally don't have a problem with my ds being on his tablet, I see it as pretty much the only thing that brings him joy in a world he struggles to cope with. No bad thing.

AntiQuitty Sun 01-Jan-17 17:25:28

Ds age 5, started watching marble runs on YouTube about a month ago after ds1 bought him a marble run. So we got him 3 more for Christmas! He loves them! As you can tell this is pretty exciting! And they are the only toys we bought him. We've learnt from our past toy buying mistakes! Thankfully he also adores getting clothing based on his favourite games, chocolate and books.

And I agree with Reality about play.

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Sun 01-Jan-17 19:16:44

Well said Reality.

Surely Christmas is a time to give our children things that make them happy, if that means things that most would not be interested in, so what?

My, now adult, son gets presents that a typical young man wouldn't, but he's not a typical young man.

clementineorange Sun 01-Jan-17 20:52:36

Erm, reality, have you thought that teaching play skills will actually improve quality of life? Knowing how to play leads to social skills. No one, Autistic or not, wants to have no friends. Learning new skills also occurs through play. An iPad may not be available or appropriate in many settings and situations. It's not about changing the child, it's about teaching new skills to open more doors and improve quality of life.

AntiQuitty Sun 01-Jan-17 21:34:57

Knowing how to play leads to social skills

Really? In all the research I've done to help ds overtly teaching social skills is seen as a necessary requirement due to the neurological differences which mean autistic children have difficulties generalising skills to other situations.

PolterGoose Sun 01-Jan-17 22:13:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

queenofthebucket Sun 01-Jan-17 22:38:11

I think that offering alternatives presents opportunities to have new experiences that they might like.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Sun 01-Jan-17 22:44:23

I very strongly disagree re teaching children with asd how to play. It is important. Play is key to development of all sorts of skills - social, gross motor, fine motor, imagination. We have made a conscious effort to broaden the range of activities ds will engage in and it has enriched his life hugely. Plus enabled him to bond with other kids over shared interests.

redexpat Sun 01-Jan-17 22:54:32

Ds 5 needs to be guided. So I sat with him on xmas day while he built the lego and talked him through it.

We have started having quiet time before bed, so one of us puts dd to bed and the other asks ds which game he wants to play, or which jigsaw should we do together. Now he expects it and has become part of his routine. But he did take some persuading in the start.

knittingwithnettles Sun 01-Jan-17 23:20:16

Ds only liked Lego when he was about 7. Then he liked building it with someone else. Before that he liked playing some imaginative games with figures which involved a peer, like tree house with sylvanians but never unsupervised. An adult needed to lead them or a very bossy peer. Ds went on being interested in cars for a long time, so we were able to give them as presents until he was 10. He played alone with cars and was completely absorbed. Luckily there was no tablet in those days. He hated a lot of films too.

A good gift was The Moon In My Room. Books relating to current obsession (at 7 it was liners and the Titanic) before that trains.

Playmobil plane was also a big hit, but then he just liked hanging it on his wall, he didn't play that much with it, after initial putting together and examination. Playmobil has also failed in this house after initial pleasure in putting it together and looking at it. Never good at imaginative scenarios - we found that frustrating - we longed for him to spend hours in an imaginative landscape inventing stories, but no...

Then at 11 he started enjoying Hornby, again with supervision in the putting together (frustrating the fiddly bits otherwise)

He also enjoys stop animation with figures, and making short films, with loud voiceover narration.

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