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Children with ASD often do not develop play in the same way as other children of their age and can appear to find play difficult. Teaching and encouraging a child to play has a number of benefits. It helps a child develop language and to understand social situations through role play and aids interaction. It can encourage questioning and answering and develops a better understanding of how others play.

Rewarding the child during and following a play session is often a good incentive to take part next time, this can be as simple as a smile or a cheer or a ‘thank you so much for playing with me, I’ve had such fun’. It can be useful to involve other family members in play so that the child has an opportunity to interact with other people. At first one-to-one might work best.

Playing in a space with lots of distractions can make play more difficult. Ringing phones, loud televisions, and electronic games can make engaging with our children much more challenging. Find a quiet, comfortable space to play.

Play with your child should be fun for both the child and adult, it is important you are both motivated and engaged. If you are tired, stressed and anxious, consider playing at a time when you feel more focused and positive. Play sessions can last for 5 minutes or an hour, dependant on the mood of you child and the engagement in an activity.

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The Nurse was really supportive and understanding, it wasn’t awkward. I enjoyed it.