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Play skills...Yet another anxious mother with a question about ASD diagnosis....

(20 Posts)
quickquestion1 Wed 09-Sep-09 20:24:10

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quickquestion1 Wed 09-Sep-09 20:24:41

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amberflower Wed 09-Sep-09 20:42:28


The thing is he is so young - and a boy - and whilst yes imaginative play (or rather lack of it) is a key marker for ASD, I don't think I know a single NT boy who would have 'fed a teddy' or 'given a dolly a spoon or cup' at this age. Imaginative play with cars and trains yes - dollies no wink Give most boys this age a doll and to be honest I would suggest the majority will either ignore it, drop it on its head or use it as a speed bump for a car...

However to answer your question - from what you have posted I would say that yes he does seem to grasp the concept of imaginative play, although obviously that is only one of a raft of considerations. What other concerns do you have aside from the language delay?

quickquestion1 Wed 09-Sep-09 21:07:04

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quickquestion1 Thu 10-Sep-09 11:13:40

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Marne Thu 10-Sep-09 13:16:08

Hmm, its a tough one, dd2 has a dx of ASD, she will bath a dolly, zoom cars around the floor and talk on a toy phone, but some people say this is not imaginative play but just copying what they have seen others do hmm, i think it's imaginative play.

Dd2's traits are:

Poor eye contact (this is improving)

Poor speech (she was non verbal until a few months ago)

Lack of understanding/finds it hard to follow instructions (i can ask her to get her shoes and she will get them but when i tell her where we are going she doesn't understand)

No sense of danger (but this can be normal for a 2-4 year old)

Sensitive to sound and sometimes touch (but not sensitive to taste or smell.

Loves routine and can get upset if something in a routine changes.

Lines up toys and is obsessed with numbers ,letters and shapes. (can complete a 50 piece jigsaw picture side down)

When dd2 was you ds's age some of her traits were more obvious then they are now and others were less obvious. Her sensory issues have improved, her speech and understanding have improved but she gets more upset with changes in routine and her sense of danger is still poor.

quickquestion1 Thu 10-Sep-09 16:11:53

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cyberseraphim Thu 10-Sep-09 16:36:32

Feeding a teddy is considered functional play rather than imaginative play. Imaginative play is saying that the teddy is a prince who is throwing a party. Obviously there are areas in between these extremes and I don't think all professionals take the shades seriously enough - it has to be black and white for them. I think it's impossible to tell from what you say if there is an issue or not but DS1 also enjoyed teddy games at that age - He loved the Teddy knocks the tower down game and seemed completely normal/NT in that respect.

Marne Thu 10-Sep-09 16:39:21

At such a young age its hard to tell speech and language disorders/speech delay and Autism apart as some of the traits of similar, if a child is unable to speak it can make them frustrated and show ASD traits.

quickquestion1 Thu 10-Sep-09 17:03:48

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BethNoire Thu 10-Sep-09 17:12:01

What about feeding you? Would he do that? that's what ds4 9and yes do know me LOL- emails) does and he is 17months (I think, might be 16, long day blush)

But yes the imaginative play thing is exactly as cyber said. turning the garage on its head and maing it into a sapce rocket; using toys otr objects differently than intended which shows a degree of imagination and flexibility around concepts.

It has been a clear delineator between my NT duo and my SN duo; it's also something I personally find very hard indeed (no dx sought or needed, AQ of 37 though and clear traits).

quickquestion1 Thu 10-Sep-09 17:33:59

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quickquestion1 Thu 10-Sep-09 17:38:48

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quickquestion1 Thu 10-Sep-09 17:48:17

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amberflower Thu 10-Sep-09 18:32:28

From what you say it seems that the language delay is the main concern - the fact that he is happy to play on his own shouldn't be a concern unless he also resisted people contact and/or struggled to interact with other children and adults, and you say in your earlier post that he does initiate and enjoy interaction with both. He's sharing interest and showing good eye contact so none of that rings alarm bells either.

The imaginative play stuff - my DS was certainly not doing the stuff cyberseraphim describes at 2.1 years, but he was by 3.5/4 years and it has really blossomed since he turned 5 (for example when I changed the loo roll the other day he wanted to paint the cardboard insert I was about to chuck in the recycling, and told me it was his telescope, then once painted he used it to look at aeroplanes in the sky).

Now my DS has a DX of mild ASD (although we are seeking a second opinion) but thinking about it most of his friends, all of whom are entirely NT to my knowledge, did not really start true imaginative play until much nearer to 3 or even 4. With some of the girls it might have been a bit earlier, but certainly not with the boys. It was only once they started nursery/preschool that the imaginative stuff really came to the fore.

So it's a tough one. From what you have written, I wouldn't say that there was anything glaringly worrying that stands out. I think you are right, you need to see how he develops in the next year or so, focus on working on his language development and see what happens.

cyberseraphim Thu 10-Sep-09 18:45:57

The Teddy Party would be a higher age imaginative play but I think maybe DS2 at 2.1 could pretend Teddy was sailing in a boat that was actually an old box - but then when DS1 does it, they say it is 'object substitution'. Probably better off counting angels on a pinhead !

quickquestion1 Thu 10-Sep-09 19:04:09

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lingle Thu 10-Sep-09 19:56:15


Hi, I am lingle, DS1 had language delay plus "quirks" he has outgrown. DS2 is 4.0 and has language delay plus quirks.

I find the descriptions of stages of imaginative play in the Hanen books ("It Takes Two to Talk" or "More than Words") more useful - no Angels on pins, just clarity, good prose, a positive optimistic attitude and a structure you can work through.

quickquestion1 Fri 11-Sep-09 08:23:59

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lingle Fri 11-Sep-09 08:55:00

Try Ebay too. They tend to go for £20. Also sometimes has them.

Also your speech therapist may have them and should be able to lend.

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