One Way to Prioritize Connection Over Skills with Your Child
“If you are looking for an impactful way to help your child on the autism spectrum grow, here is a helpful tip: Encourage your child to physically participate during activities with you.
“Encouraging Your Child to Physically Participate in activities with you could look like this:
‘Hold my hands and jump with me’
‘Turn the page so I can read for you’
‘Bang the drum while I sing’
“Why is it useful to focus on your child’s physical participation when engaging with you?
· “Once your child is physically involved in a game with you, it helps them stay focused and stay in one activity.
· “It encourages your child to get more deeply involved in this activity with you: An important part of all social experiences is being interested in and participating in each other’s activities and interests. This is an opportunity for your child to practice.
· “They can experience for themselves how much fun it is to play with you (and other people).
· “When your child is physically participating, it also becomes easier for you to work on other goals. For example, ask your child to use language, because at this point your child is way more invested in the game and this interaction with you.
“When to ask your child for Physical Participation:
“The most effective timing when to invite your child to physically participate with you is when your child is “Highly Motivated (e.g. smiling, laughing, watching you with interest.)
“Have fun inviting your child to physically participate!”
Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher