Helping a neurotypical toddler play with kids with autism

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jkennedy487
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21 Jul 2022, 8:21 pm

Hello!

I'm new to the forum. My family just moved to a new house, and our next door neighbors have a daughter exactly the same age as my daughter (two years old).

While I'm unsure whether or not the neighbor girl has ASD, diagnosed or not, some of her social behaviors suggest she might. Either way, I was wondering if anyone could suggest tips or resources I could use to help my daughter learn how best to successfully play and interact with a child with autism. The kids are 2 years old, so helping my daughter understand and manage her behavior is tough, but I want her to be able to play with kids with autism without upsetting them. Any advice helps, thank you!



Mona Pereth
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22 Jul 2022, 3:11 am

[moderator] Done.
I would suggest asking the moderators to move this thread to the parents' section. Probably the best place to get advice on dealing with autistic kids.


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cyberdad
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22 Jul 2022, 3:26 am

Welcome kennedy487,

It's very nice of you to want your child to engage with the neighbour's kid, In my experience when parents saw my ASD daughter they would move their children or make some excuse to leave the playground

Take my advice and let your daughter interact with other child on her own and if she's confused about anything she will come and tell you and you can answer her specific questions. The reason is that you should avoid inserting ideas into your NT children (especially at 2) because you might accidentally pass on your own prejudices. Let your child observe for themselves and you might be surprised how easily they play without any intervention from you. But of course watch carefully and intervene only if necessary.

Sorry I've had too much experience of NT parents of NT kids trying to gatekeep whom their children can socialise with and observing the way they intervene it's no wonder their children learn to behave differently around autistic people.



timf
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23 Jul 2022, 11:00 am

I remember from a child growth and development text an illustration with a transcription of a "conversation" of two five year olds. If you read each child's statements, they would show some contiguous thread. However, when compared to the statement of the other, there was no relevance. It was almost as if each child were conversing with a silent friend who was not there. The fact that they alternated speech only gave the illusion of a conversation.

I would not expect too much from the conversational realm. If supervised, instruction can be provided in regard to behavior. For example, it is not unusual for one two year old to seize the toy of another and declare, Mine!



cyberdad
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23 Jul 2022, 9:06 pm

timf wrote:
I remember from a child growth and development text an illustration with a transcription of a "conversation" of two five year olds. If you read each child's statements, they would show some contiguous thread. However, when compared to the statement of the other, there was no relevance. It was almost as if each child were conversing with a silent friend who was not there. The fact that they alternated speech only gave the illusion of a conversation.

I would not expect too much from the conversational realm. If supervised, instruction can be provided in regard to behavior. For example, it is not unusual for one two year old to seize the toy of another and declare, Mine!


Two year olds watch attentively and learn. I have heard on numerous occasions how when you have two siblings (particularly twins) where one has a speech delay that the NT sister/brother can translate the disorganised sounds/speech of their sibling quite efficiently/easily for the parents. Toddlers have an amazing propensity for communication that transcends spoken language.



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25 Jul 2022, 7:07 pm

Kids--even the neurotypical ones!--vary so much that generic advice probably won't get you very far. Try just getting the kids together and talking to your neighbors and see how it goes :)