On today’s show we’ll be answering questions from listeners including:
- a mom of a kindergartener who has an autism diagnosis asks how to get her to play with her sister and other children as well as answer questions related to her day.
- an SLP wants ideas for small groups of 4 preschoolers who are functioning at younger developmental levels.
Strategies for play with mom to improve social interaction during play routines:
- Tailor strategies for a child’s developmental age instead of his or her chronological age.
- Kids may need more assistance for social skill development one-on-one with an adult FIRST before interaction improves with other kids.
- If you’re stressed or don’t know exactly what to do with a child when you’re working on social skills, just PLAY!
- Begin your play routines with what a child does naturally during the day – sleeping, eating, bathing, playing outside, going to the store, going to daycare/preschool, etc… Examples on the show were Micky and Minnie characters and making them do all of these things.
- Give forced choice questions when a child can’t answer questions. (Listen for ideas!)
Ideas for SLP with groups of preschoolers when she’s been spending lots of time managing behavior rather than therapy:
- Add more structure and move fast! Do each activity for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Keep activities simple – rather than more complex – since they tend to get off task!
- Try a movement game to get started to help them regulate including social games with body/motor imitation.
- Adapt a move-sit-move-sit schedule for activities.
- Be the show! The kids will be focused on you and staying with the activity!
- Introduce imitation games at the table and other EASY table-top tasks such as play-doh, finger painting, stickers, etc… Address individual goals with requesting, following directions, etc…
- If it’s allowed and practical, have a snack! Targeting language with eating is one of the most functional goals you can address!
- Relay games from Let’s Talk About Talking, Teach Me To Talk: The Therapy Manual, and Teach Me To Listen and Obey 2.