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No imaginative play?

1 reply

ForeverSausages · 09/07/2021 13:22

My 6 year old had his BOSA assessment due to concerns from school (he has "quirks" but my only concern is he's quite an anxious child and thinks very deeply about things - for example, he was very concerned about the UK's economy at the beginning of the year due to Covid and also obsessed over Brexit - if you get the idea).

Anyway, the BOSA assessment determined that socially he's fine (he's very chatty with anyone & everyone, eye contact is fab, he asks millions of questions and has a very dry sense of humour). But they said that he has no imaginative play and they were concerned that he only played with cause & effect toys (they brought out a doll house with different keys and I knew that would be it, he'd have played with those keys for hours). They also said he was just below the number of points required for an ASD diagnosis.

What should I do with this information? They told me nothing about what happens next or does that mean nothing happens? Do I need to be concerned?

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LightTripper · 09/07/2021 23:12

I'm afraid I haven't come across BOSA, but given that it's an autism assessment I'd expect some kind of written feedback (presumably the comment about being just below the number of points for diagnosis was verbal only) - and some advice on what next steps are, and I think you would be perfectly reasonable to follow that up with the school or whoever arranged the appointment. Even if you've already had the written assessment, I'd expect them to give you some idea on next steps so I'd ask for that (though the answer may well be "none": even after DD's autism Dx there were very few for us - just access to coffee mornings and that kind of stuff - and about 2 years later a parenting course, by which point the contents of the course were pretty old hat as we'd obviously had to figure things out for ourselves in the interim).

If he has some of the traits of autism (but not enough for a diagnosis), then it may still be worth reading up a bit on autism to help him manage his anxiety for example. Autism parenting techniques can (in my view) still be useful for kids who are not Dx'ed autistic if they share some of the same traits.

Does he do imaginative play at home? DD was nearly 4 when she did her ADOS, and did some imaginative play but less than was expected I think (certainly she got a diagnosis in any case). I told them about imaginary play she did at home which they included in the report - but I think part of the point of interest for them was the extent to which she felt comfortable to share that in a social context with unfamiliar people, IYSWIM.

Maybe I'm overly blase but I've never been too worried by DD doing things a bit differently in terms of how she plays, or being very focused on certain interests. It has never seemed to do her any harm - she's a very happy kid and her friends generally seem happy to play with her and get in on her games, and she will also join in with them, even though she does give herself breaks to do her own thing.

Anxiety is the main worry I have too. We do a lot of talking about emotions, trying to talk about worries that didn't come true (or even worries that did, and what we could practically do about them, or the fact that the bad thing passed, even if it happened). That kind of thing could be useful for your DS too? We found a diary at bedtime was sometimes good for that. We'd talk about (and write down) one good thing, one bad thing and one new thing from the day. It seemed to help DD process things and was a good focal point for talking about things that were on her mind. I keep thinking we should go back to it actually but it's harder to find the time now she's older and has homework and reading and all that stuff!

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