Like most things in the autism world, my son struggles with playing.

His lack of focus and concentration are the main factors contributing to him not understanding play.

I've tried and tried over the years to teach him how to play, which sounds simple enough to do but turns out to be an extremely difficult concept for my son to grasp.

I feel therapies such as ABA would have been a great start for him to understand things like, waiting his turn, sharing, time limits etc.

 

Even with all the clear constant redirecting and explaining from me, son still struggles with the basics of play.

I believe being an only child also contributes to him not fully grasping the play concept.

ABA would have done wonders for my son in his early years, now at age 10 it's becoming more difficult to teach him things and he's becoming bored with just everyday activities.

I contribute most of the above to the fact that my son was never recommended ABA because his doctors and therapist said he wouldn't adapt to it, they said his development was too far behind to even grasp the concept.

 

Flashforward 7 years, and my son has a room full of toys, games, puzzles, books etc and has zero interest in any of them.

His focus and attention span is roughly 5 mins, even shorter if he has to concentrate.

His motor skills are seriously lacking, so things like catching or bouncing a ball just won't happen.

Since I started to realize he'll never play with traditional toys, I started buying more therapy based toys like chews, stress balls, block puzzles, etc..

The main focus now is to teach him

 patience so he's not self-harming because he has to share or wait.

 

I somewhat copy the ABA model and try reward based behavior, for every task accomplished son gets a reward.

For every 5 mins of safe play son gets a reward, for every attempt at sharing son gets a reward.

This is in no way a substitute for ABA it's my attempt at teaching my son safe and appropriate play using some of the skills used in ABA.

 

Children like my son also struggle with communicating with their peers, he has absolutely no clue how to even start a conversation or introduce himself to another kid.

With his limited speech, it's next to impossible for another kid to even attempt to play with my son.

 

Children like my son make up a very small portion of the autistic community, these kids are lacking the appropriate skills to not only play, but become productive citizens.

I will always be a champion for ABA because in my opinion ABA therapy teaches the skills for success.

I just wish my son could get approved for it because he desperately needs it.

Until then I'll just keep copying their model because it's working for us

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