What play looks like.

April 9, 2009

I just saw two kids running around in circles chasing each other around a bike rack. Looked like a brother and sister, age 4 and 6 perhaps.

Repetitive, and pointless behavior.

They do it—it looks like silly play.

Our kids do it—it is perseveration that needs to be extinguished through behavior modification.

Think about that…

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2 Responses to “What play looks like.”

  1. Erinn Finke Says:

    Adam, I read this to my class on Monday. We were talking about the importance of play and designing play interventions for children with ASD. It was very timely, and really got them to thinking about looking at the behaviors that are being exhibited by the child with ASD and trying to determine if they are idiosyncratic attempts to play or join a play activity. Thanks for posting this!!

    Erinn.

  2. G.Fraggle Says:

    Part of what made the difference was their affect. The brother and sister were giggling and talking and making eye contact with each other. These are things that kids with autism spectrum disorders don’t always do.
    You’ve got to look objectively at the function of the behavior before you write it off as “perseveration”. If a neurotypical kid was doing this, what would I think?
    I actually had a teacher say “It makes them look funny” as a rationale for trying to extinguish a behavior that I considered to be harmless. Sorry, I don’t consider that good enough reason to break out the ABA toolkit.


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