Playing with a group

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Playing with more than one other child can be challenging. Some children have a hard time with the noises that other children make or it makes them anxious to be with many other children. Encourage your child to be with other children. Enroll them in a gym class or dance class or just have a play date with friends. If you take your child to a class outside your home, call ahead and talk to the instructor/teacher about your child and his/her needs.

What to do

1. Take your child to the gym/dance studio before class so your child can familiarize him/herself with the space.
2. Explain to your child what is going to happen and what he/she can expect.
3. Start with 30 seconds of being in the space with the other children and increase it at a level that your child is comfortable with.
4. Prompt your child to interact with the other children.
5. Make your child say hello and follow along with the class activities or whatever the other children are playing with.

Start having your child interact with the other children for a couple seconds in the beginning and then increase the time over time. It might take your child a couple of weeks to get used to the new routine, noise, and the other children. Don’t get frustrated and don’t give up. It might take a while for your child to enjoy their time with the other children but your child will get there. If you have any questions or concerns please join the support desk.

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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..