Interaction

If my child has autism should I push them to play with me? Should I leave them alone? What about self-stimming?

There are different types of ways to create “downtime” if your child has autism, notes Dr. Greenspan. “If you have a child with autism that is capable of reading a book, that’s terrific; give them regular down time. If the child is capable of doing a crossword, that’s great; give them regular downtime and then balance it through the day.

How do I help my child to interact more?

Discussion: “The key,” says Dr. Greenspan, “is to extend the circles of interaction.” Once a child is somewhat engaged, you always want to extend the circles of interaction and get more and more purposeful. Play dumb with the child so they have to extend the circles of communication. The ultimate goal is the continuous flow of back and forth communication.

“Always look for the gleam in the child’s eye. Look for the affect. The biggest mistake to make is not looking for the light in the eye,” emphasizes Dr. Greenspan.

How do I motivate my child?

Discussion: “You always want to be following the child’s lead during Floortime and throughout the day,” says Dr. Greenspan. It’s important to remember to “never say no to a child with autism unless they are in danger; otherwise, we block the interaction, and that is where the affect is.”

You don’t want to prevent the child with autism from telling you what he or she wants to do, because that is where the motivation is. If the child wants to do something silly and outlandish, you should encourage it.