If you have a young child with autism, you may have noticed that he has difficulty learning to play. His play may be less flexible or creative than that of other children, and it may rarely involve other people.
The Make Play R.O.C.K. booklet series gives you practical, research-based strategies for expanding your child’s play skills during everyday play activities. You’ll learn powerful ways to get involved in your child’s play and help him learn while having fun together. The Make Play R.O.C.K. Booklet Series offers practical strategies for expanding the play skills of young children with autism and other communication difficulties.
Why Is Pretend Play Important?
Pretend play is a critical part of all children’s development, and is closely tied to:
For children with autism in particular, studies have shown that better pretend play skills at age three and four are associated with better language skills at ages eight and nine, and the more varied and flexible a young child’s pretend play, the more advanced his thinking skills are at ages eight and nine.
How Put Pretending into Your Child’s Play Helps
Your child’s play may not be as complex or creative as that of typically developing children. But when you add specific interaction strategies to your everyday play activities, there’s a lot you can do build his skills.
Put Pretending into Your Child’s Play helps you:
Make Play R.O.C.K.: Put Pretending Into Your Child's Play provides a checklist for identifying your child’s current stage of pretend play and the next step he can take, guidelines on the best toys to use and how to use them to encourage your child’s development, concrete examples and illustrations of parents using the strategies in the booklet to build their child’s play skills and a Pretend Play Plan to help you plan your child’s next play step and how you’ll help him take it.
Is your child ready for pretend play?
Your child is ready for you to help him learn to pretend if he:
If your child is not yet doing these things, you may consider Booklet 2 in the Make Play R.O.C.K. Series, Take Out the Toys, which helps you promote the functional play and joint attention skills that are necessary for learning to pretend.