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Structured Play for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) enjoy playing, but they can find some types of play difficult.

Because ASD affects the development of social skills and communication skills, it can also affect the development of important skills needed for play, like the ability to:

  • copy simple actions

  • explore the environment

  • share objects and attention with others

  • imagine what other children are thinking and feeling

  • respond to others

  • take turns.

This article from the Raising Children Network outlines how structured play can help children on the autism spectrum

Structured play is when a grown-up provides resources, starts play or joins in with children’s play to offer some direction or guidelines.

The first step is choosing an appropriate play activity. Activities that have a clear goal and ending are best, like jigsaws, puzzle books, song and action DVDs, and matching games.

Read more about structured play on the Raising Children Network website.


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