"Varied, spontaneous make-believe play"

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TPE2
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27 Jun 2010, 6:05 pm

What is exactly "varied, spontaneous make-believe play" (like is referred - by absence - in diagnostic criteria for autism)?

I surely had "make-believe play" as a children (usually with my sisters or with a neighbor boy); in reallity, the problem that I sometimes had when playing with one of my sisters is that she didn't see much interest in pretend play (example: I ask to her "let's play as gold prospecters?", and she answer "What is the fun of making gestures?").

However, I am not much sure if these pretend play was "varied" and "spontaneous" - usually during several months my play had the same "characters" and "scenario" (more or less a kind of "imaginary universe"), but with different "stories" each time I played.

For example - during a period of time (perhaps during 6 months, I don't remember), me and my neighbor used to play as pirates; however, although that we played "pirates" almost always, in each time that we played we had a different "adventure" with different events.

This is "varied, spontaneous make-believe play"?



reh
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27 Jun 2010, 6:46 pm

Playing pirates is certainly a great example of varied spontaneous make believe play. It seems that you've had your share.

The National Autistic Society has a page about play. Hope it helps.

http://www.autism.org.uk/working-with/education/educational-professionals-in-schools/play-and-autism.aspx



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27 Jun 2010, 6:56 pm

I like that text reh. I regret that my pretend play was so dull that I never had a chance to play with other kids. I remember only once playing with a friend and even on that occasion my pretend play was very odd and I did most of the playing myself. :(



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27 Jun 2010, 7:16 pm

This is another reason why I'm confused if I have AS or not because as a kid, I can remember pretending rocks were people and inventing imaginary objects, which is listed as symbolic play if I'm reading that website right.

I frequently played a game I called "Nice Tent, eh?" with my sisters where we built tents in our room and lived in them and basically played house. The only odd thing about it (other than its name, ha ha) is that although my siblings were there, I was basically playing by myself in my own little tent.

I also had an abusive childhood and I remember building a little snow cave with little snow people and I tried to get this other girl to make a pact with me to wish really hard to wake up the next morning as little people in the cave. I frequently wished for magic things that would take me away like that.


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TPE2
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27 Jun 2010, 7:55 pm

Dots wrote:
This is another reason why I'm confused if I have AS or not because as a kid, I can remember pretending rocks were people and inventing imaginary objects, which is listed as symbolic play if I'm reading that website right


However, absence of pretend play is only listed as a symptom of Autism, not of AS.



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27 Jun 2010, 7:59 pm

Wedge. Why were your plays dull and odd? Can you describe some of them?

Dots. According to DSM-IV, the absence of aforementioned play is a criterion for diagnosis of autistic disorder, not aspergers. It may change in the next revision of the diagnostic manual but for now, this particular thing needn't confuse you.



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27 Jun 2010, 8:14 pm

Thanks. Guess I should have done my reading. :oops:


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Wedge
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28 Jun 2010, 12:25 pm

reh wrote:
Wedge. Why were your plays dull and odd? Can you describe some of them?


I kept repeating the same thing over and over. Once me and my cousing got beneath the table and pretended it was an igloo. But the lines were really simple. My cousin asked "what are we going to do today?". Then I replied "We are going fishing so we will have something to eat later". Then we sleep and in the morning it was the same thing. "What are we going to do today?". "We are going fishing so we can have something to eat at night". And we kept repeating the same thing.

The other time I remember playing I was a Private Investigator and I had to interview the suspects. I had to drive my car and interview the suspects but again I kept doing the same thing. And I didn´t include my friend in the play.

Those are the only times I played that kind of play.


Maybe I´m being too hard with myself! :)



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28 Jun 2010, 12:30 pm

Not all autistics lacked imaginative play as children. Generally, play is affected; but it isn't always completely absent. Nor, in fact, even usually completely absent.

For example, I had "varied, spontaneous make-believe play" as a child. But I had a different style from other children. I would play the same games over and over, and while I switched from one to the other eventually, I would persist for hours while other children got bored after twenty minutes; and I'd keep the same game for months while for other children it was only a few days. I also had less make-believe play overall than most children; I spent more time arranging things into patterns, creating interesting sensations (swinging, spinning, looking at interesting objects, etc.), and after about three years old, reading. As an adult, I still spend a lot of my free time organizing things; only now, it's information I organize. When I get interested in a new subject, you're likely to find databases full of facts on my computer, essays written, and an encyclopedia's worth of ideas in my head.

So even if you don't match that criterion, it's likely enough that you probably played differently as a child. Play is how children learn; and autistics learn differently. For my particular cognitive configuration, it made more sense to practice patterns and sensory regulation than it did to expand creativity (though I do have a normal level of creativity, based mostly on my large-scale networks of facts... again, just slightly off the norm).


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reh
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28 Jun 2010, 1:53 pm

Wedge wrote:
I kept repeating the same thing over and over. Once me and my cousing got beneath the table and pretended it was an igloo. But the lines were really simple. My cousin asked "what are we going to do today?". Then I replied "We are going fishing so we will have something to eat later". Then we sleep and in the morning it was the same thing. "What are we going to do today?". "We are going fishing so we can have something to eat at night". And we kept repeating the same thing.

The other time I remember playing I was a Private Investigator and I had to interview the suspects. I had to drive my car and interview the suspects but again I kept doing the same thing. And I didn´t include my friend in the play.

Those are the only times I played that kind of play.


Maybe I´m being too hard with myself! :)


They seem fun enough to me :)



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28 Jun 2010, 1:55 pm

I hate to seem cynical [disclosure - actually, I rather enjoy it] but too many years in academia, where often you work to find reasons to give the student the grade you elieve he deserves give me grave doubts about pretty much all diagnostic criteria.

Nothing in that play rubric is really quantifiable or clearly defined. If I'm diagnosing you, I mzay just look at you, see [instinct / intuintion / experience] what you are, then find words to support the diagnosis on paper. Does not make the diagnosus wrong - but makes debatde and efinition rather pointless. I did imaginative play - using my recorder as a gun, for instance. So how much variety is varied, how imaginary do you neded to be, etc?



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04 Jul 2010, 6:42 pm

Dots wrote:
This is another reason why I'm confused if I have AS or not because as a kid, I can remember pretending rocks were people and inventing imaginary objects, which is listed as symbolic play if I'm reading that website right.
You should take a look at this, then: http://www.dailyemerald.com/news/gender ... .1470337#5

It mentions that girls on the spectrum are more likely to engage in imaginative play than boys. If there's anything else you are doubting, feel free to contact me. :)


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05 Jul 2010, 6:14 am

MathGirl wrote:
Dots wrote:
This is another reason why I'm confused if I have AS or not because as a kid, I can remember pretending rocks were people and inventing imaginary objects, which is listed as symbolic play if I'm reading that website right.
You should take a look at this, then: http://www.dailyemerald.com/news/gender ... .1470337#5

It mentions that girls on the spectrum are more likely to engage in imaginative play than boys. If there's anything else you are doubting, feel free to contact me. :)


Quote:
Usually in the pre-school age, boys will begin to show signs of autism. Girls will generally show signs around 12 years old.


I (as a boy/man) confess that I found this very strange (autism only becoming visible at the begining of adolescence).



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05 Jul 2010, 6:41 am

I had spontaneous make-believe play all the time. I wouldn't know if it's varied, but it was pretty imaginative. However, I only ever did it by myself. It makes sense to me... Only I can read my thoughts, so how could two people be doing sharing that same imagination?

I saw other people pretending to be dogs or playing house... I thought that was very silly, myself.



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05 Jul 2010, 8:39 am

I've had a very rich imagination, as a child, and I enjoyed pretending and role playing. My favourite thing to do, was to act out scenes, from TV shows.


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05 Jul 2010, 9:01 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
I've had a very rich imagination, as a child, and I enjoyed pretending and role playing. My favourite thing to do, was to act out scenes, from TV shows.


I read something that said that that is not "Varied, spontaneous make-believe play" but rather a form of reliving a memory that you enjoyed meaning that you didn't use your imagination. I'll see if I can find it...

EDIT:
Here we are: Difficulty with Reciprocal Social Interactions
Look at 1.g.



Last edited by Coldkick on 05 Jul 2010, 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.