The Importance of Play

Love this! I’m an adult and can barely handle a 40 hr work week without an outlet or a break to do whatever I want. But autistic 2,3,4 yr olds often have this much work a week or even more! Sometimes even are shamed or discouraged from doing the things they need or want to do to unwind when they get those tiny slivers of free time because it isn’t “normal” or “appropriate”. I encourage you to put yourself in your child’s shoes…preschoolers…or anyone for that matter should not be pulling 80 hr weeks…for any reason.

Musings of an Aspie

This morning as I was lying on the floor wrestling with my dog for her tennis ball–complete with fake growling on my part and some real growling on her part–I realized how important play is in my life.

Still. At the age of 45.

Since childhood, I’ve enjoyed playing board games and card games, solving puzzles and competing at (some) sports. Basically if there’s a game and I can potentially win at it, or at least enjoy trying, I’m there. But I’m also a huge fan of spontaneous, unstructured, completely pointless play.

Play in its purest form.

Play that arises in the moment and leads to unexpected, unbridled fun.

Which is probably why the assertion that autistic children don’t play “right” is so offensive to me. Why have autism researchers and therapists and clinicians forgotten the meaning of play? Worse, why are autistic kids so often described as not understanding…

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