How Introducing Props Helps Your Child Play with Friends

“In The Son-Rise Program®, we want to help our children on the Autism spectrum feel confident when interacting with peers. We want them to feel successful when creating friendships. We want our children to understand what playing with other people looks like. If we help our children with this skill now, they will be ready for lots of fun times with friends later! Which we know, as a parent, or caregiver, you also want!

“One way to help your child, get ready for games with friends, is to introduce new Props. This is a simple and digestible place to start! Helping your child play, interactively with one object, will prepare them for sophisticated games later!

“So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Discover new props to entertain your child with, from around your home. Which means no money is required! You already have everything that you need! Yay!

Step 2: As you look around, consider all of your child’s current motivations. This will help you come up with creative ideas. For instance, if they love flying saucers, I may find a paper plate and fly it around the room.

“Get those imaginative juices flowing! You can turn any prop into something fun!

“Here are a few examples!
• Pretend that your serving spoon is a special shovel that digs up hidden treasures!
• The cushion from your couch can be a magic cloud that makes you bounce!
• Your empty tissue box can be a train!
• Your hairbrush can be a microphone that helps you sing their favorite songs!
• Your laundry basket can be a racecar that drives around the room!
• A bucket can be a bath for their favorite stuffed animals!
• Your rug can be a launch pad that makes you shoot across the room like a rocket!

“There are no limits, to what you can create, from what is already around you!

“Here are a few more reasons, why introducing new props, is beneficial for your child:

A) Introducing Props Makes People Look More Dynamic and Fun!
You want to show your child how fun people are! Which all begins with you! If your child gives you a Green Light, which is any indication that they want to play, simply use The Son-Rise Program technique of Entertaining. Entertain your child without asking anything from them. Here are a few examples of what that could look like:
• Grab your tissue box and start making “Choo Choo,” sounds!
• Bounce off your rug as if you were born to be a rocket!
• Get that brush and sing, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” with great enthusiasm!
• Race that laundry basket around the room and pretend to hit a bump!
Your child watching you play, with an object yourself, is the first step! Because, if they are watching you, they are learning how to play. Which will help them know how to play with friends later! Your child will also see that fun things come from people! They will see that playing games, with others, is easy and wonderful!

B) Introducing Props Will Help Your Child Strengthen Their Imagination Skills:
Our children learn a lot about how, social interaction works, by watching people. The same is true for all of us! I watched many artists perform on stage before singing in public. I watched my peers, play other teams in softball, before stepping onto the field myself. The same is true for your child! They are learning from the actions that we take! Watching you pretend that your bucket is a bathtub, is a step towards, understanding how the beautiful world of imagination works. Which help them share their imaginative ways with friends later!

“Embrace your ability to be creative! Let your imagination run wild! That prop will help your child on the Autism spectrum play, more wonderful games, in the future!”

Written by Suzanne Pruss, Son-Rise Program Teacher

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