A brief encounter in the park…

Neil has never been the most sociable of characters. It’s one of his traits that I would attribute to his ASD.

Most of the time he’s not interested in playing or interacting with other children. He’s prefers his own company, and would choose to play minecraft on his own over playing with someone any day.

He will sometimes play with Caitlin, but only on his agenda and she has to agree to play his way. Sometimes, when he’s not in the mood he will refuse, which can be tough for Caitlin as she doesn’t understand.

When he decides he does want to play, it’s always centered around Minecraft. He’s not in to knights and dragons or cops and robbers or anything like that, it has to be Minecraft related.

He’s not usually bothered about being around other people, he can happily play alongside children at parties and soft play, but he won’t actually play with them.

There are times when he decided he wants to join in, but you can see he doesn’t really know how. I’ve seen him go over to a group and just loudly say something, I think in hope that they will respond. Or he will jump in to their conversation quite loudly, but you can tell he’s feeling really awkward because he’s usually swaying from side to side as he does it.

That’s the bit that upsets me a bit…. I’m happy enough to let him play on his own… if that makes him happy, that’s fine. It’s seeing him wanting to join in but not knowing how that I find hard. We are currently waiting on a referral to a social skills group which I hope will help him in those kinds of situations.

Anyway, last week I wrote about how we have had a new play park built in the village. The kids have been keen to go every day, so after school I usually take them down for a little while before dinner. One afternoon last week, we were in the park as normal, and I was sitting on one of the seats watching the kids running around. As usual, a few other children were also in the park.

Imagine my surprise when I see Neil chasing after another boy with his fingers pointed like a gun, shouting nee nar the police are going to get you, as the boy ran away with some ‘stolen apples’. This pretend scene continued for about 5 minutes before Neil lost interest and went back to Caitlin. While it may not have lasted long, the play looked so natural, and Neil didn’t seem anxious to be joining in at all.

That was a big step for him. It was so nice to see him joining in, without his anxieties taking over, and for us, that’s a fantastic achievement.

Ethans Escapades

Jeannette’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements Highlights From Last Week

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  • Reply Laura Huggins October 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Such a lovely post. Now that Neil has had that experience, it may encourage other similar experiences.
    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

    • Reply Lauren October 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Hopefully! Thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply slouchingtowardsthatcham.com October 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    That's fantastic to see – hopefully Neil will build on that going forwards. I have to admit, I was quite similar as a child – always happiest in my own little world and socially awkward. I'm still shy even now, but I worked my own way through it eventually, as I'm sure Neil will too.

  • Reply twoyearsblog October 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Hello there, that's great, and I am so glad that he enjoyed playing with other children, with no anxiety. Really enjoyed reading your lovely blog x #ssamazingachievements

  • Reply Jane Roberts October 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    This is fantastic, it's pretend play, something that isn't meant to happen in the world of ASD! I have to agree the not knowing how to join in is the most upsetting part for me too. I'm yet to know how my two will interact as they get older but I can already see Ethan likes to tell his little sister what to do!

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

  • Reply Jeannette Cripps October 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I could so empathise with this post, my two will happily sit next to each other and Minecraft but ask them to "play" in the traditional sense and they can't.
    Lovely moment in the park, thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

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