Playing Alongside

Playing alongside another child

Once your child is comfortable with having another child in his/her play space bring the children closer together. Put them right next to each other or in close proximity. Let them each do their own “thing”. Once again start with tolerating the other child in the play space. Start with 30 seconds and build it up to about 5 min. Should your child have a hard time with the 30 seconds or just throws a fit start with 5 seconds, then 10, then 15 and so on.

What to do

  1. Sit on the floor with your child and have the other child play right next to your child, so they are parallel to each other.
  2. Engage your child by either saying your child’s name or by touching his/her arm.
  3. Say” (your child’s name) let’s play next to your friend.” Hand your child a toy, for example a shape sorter. Then show your child how to play with the shape sorter. The other child can play with any toy for as long as the child is right next to your child.
  4. Perfect outcome: your child does what you do and plays with the shape sorter.

Not so perfect outcome: your child just sits there.

Prompt your child through the motions. Show him/her again how to play with the shape sorter and then say “Play”. Your child does it. Praise OR your child still doesn’t know what to do. Show him/her again and repeat step 3. Try for about 3 times and then move on to a new task and come back to it later. Once your child has followed your instructions, have your child to something completely different and then repeat step 3 again to make sure your child really got it. If you have any further questions please join our support desk.

Autism Support Now is a Parent advisory blog and media site presented by "Ella's Hope for Autism" a 501c3 public charity in Missouri. This site is built for parents dealing with Autism . . . by parents dealing with Autism. Hope and Sam McPheeters (founders of Ella's Hope) have two children on the spectrum, and strive to provide continued advice for other parents, who are dealing with the same issues..