Meeting Point: Latest From Lovaas

Summer 2010

Meeting Point: Latest From Lovaas

Focus on Fun

by Amanda Huish
M.Ed., Los Angeles

As summer approaches, I would like to encourage each of you to take this opportunity to try new play-based activities with your children and students. While children are taking a break from the rigors of academia, why not take some time each day to focus on play and socialization? Summer is a natural time of year to explore new activities and increase socialization through peer opportunities. Play is an important part of any child's learning and should be actively incorporated when teaching children with autism. Some children may be able to learn naturally through play. For others, play is a wonderful means for generalizing skills learned through structured teaching. There is satisfaction in seeing children as they express joy in playing. If play is fun, children may not even realize they are learning! Children can learn from one another through play, whether it is parallel or interactive. I have observed peers as they evoke language skills from my students through play. As adults, we must often resort to contrived and/or unnatural scenarios to evoke such language. Peers and siblings can be especially effective teachers when it comes to building imagination and social relationships. This summer edition of Meeting Point emphasizes play and I hope this summer provides many opportunities for play in the lives of the children around you.

The names of all children in this newsletter have been changed in respect for family confidentiality.


Where's My Hand! Say, "give me five" but lose your hand in your sleeve – have child help you find it and then lose the other hand.

Keep It Up! Cooperate keeping one balloon floating in the air.

Bubble Gum Bubble! Blow a big bubble of bubble gum and pop it with a big pop.

Macarena! Dance the Macarena. Learn all the moves in gross-motor imitation and build it together.

Kick the Can! Play kick the can by racing to be the first one to kick the can over. The child doesn't know which trial you'll let him go on, so you've got a head start. The anticipation of trying to race you keeps his attention at a peak. (But don't cheat by going when he's not attending!)




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