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not playing with toys at all

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:16 am
by myc

another topic I like to get some feedback about is toys..

our 3year old daughter with Autism is non verbal... very warm hearted person...funny..loves music...etc..

BUT she does not use toys... she always grabs toys but only for chewing or holding and carrying around.. she does not play really .. sometimes she throws balls around and we throw them back at her... this goes back and forth for a few minutes and that was it.

Her room is full of toys.. when we try to show her how to use them.. she ignores it or gets even mad cause she doesn't "wants" it.. or wants it but does not how.. ?

Its frustrating.. as a kid in her age I am sure somewhere inside of her she has a desire to play with toys ...

any advise what we can do ?

Thank you

Re: not playing with toys at all

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:59 am
by Winnie
I think it might be more productive to follow her lead (motivation) regarding toy interests – even if her choice seems unconventional -- and work your way into the situation to interact with her in play. There are a number of books and approaches on the topic – if you are interested in recommendations a number of forum parents have made recommendations in the past (and present actually).

Trying to teach her to play with toys not of her choosing at the moment (or possibly not developmentally appropriate) will probably be pretty frustrating – toddlers (with or without autism) do not play with a toy they are not interested in.

Here is a past forum thread with some developmental info regarding play and language that might be helpful:

Here is another past forum thread on the same topic entitled Does / did your child play with toys?

Re: not playing with toys at all

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:00 pm
by AshleySpringer
Often, when I see children having difficulty playing with toys, it goes back to being an engagement issue coupled with difficulty knowing what to do with toys and why to do it (e.g., cause/effect). As Winnie mentioned, following her lead to interact with her in play tends to be the most helpful with this. Also, choose toys carefully. Start with simple cause/effect toys (such as pop-up toys, shape sorters that play music, the famous ((at times infamous)) pink pig toy) and work up from there.

For example, with the shape sorter toy... if she is not interested in it at all, try putting one of the shapes on top of your head and loudly "sneezing" it off so it flies to the ground. Be loud and do a big AHH AHH AHHHHH and then on the CHOO have it fly off. This often facilitates social engagement along with interest in the toy (you may need to do this multiple times). Then you can work toward using it in more and more functional ways by following her lead. This is a silly example, but it often works, and gives you more ideas on how to play with other toys.

At the end of the day, you are the best kind of toy:)