asperger kids have a lack of imaginitive play

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Mummy_of_Peanut
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17 Jan 2012, 8:47 am

My daughter's imaginative play is excellent. Every night, she and her Daddy crawl about the floor, with her Transfomers, Lego figures, etc. All have their own voices and a multitude of stories. In fact, I think her imagination is more advanced than most kids her age. Maybe it's a little different from most 6yr old girls, but it's definitely not inferior. I watched her in the dentist's waiting room yesterday, playing with the toys on the floor, no problems making up stories at all. An elderly couple looked on and smiled at her and her Daddy and a little girl and her Mum just stared, as if she was doing something weird (she's 6 but looks about 8 or 9). Last week, I bumped into a Mum I knew from a toddler group we used to go to. She told me her son was waiting to be assessed properly for autism (probably Aspergers too). She happened to say the very same thing about him, especially compared to his older brothers, who are NT.


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17 Jan 2012, 8:55 am

I've always been told I have an over-active imagination. I think the main difference with me and my peers when I was a child is that their play would be 'standardised'. In other words, if they had a post office set, they would play post office, and if they had a school set they would play school, and so on, whereas I would take the toys out of their context and make up my own worlds. I used to place myself in other worlds too, and create a whole scenario around that idea too, whereas all the other kids would only imagine themselves in pre-defined worlds (such as Rainbow Brite, Mario World etc). They all had dolls that 'wet' and 'burped' and I hated those dolls because they were too restrictive - my dolls were always normal dolls that didn't have special gimmicks because I could imagine them in any context.

Like some other people here have mentioned, I had strict rules too (even if they only made sense to me), and would get really upset if someone broke them.


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snpeden
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17 Jan 2012, 9:36 am

Clearly it's not the case for everyone, but I do think there's some truth to it. Not that imagination is lacking completely, rather it's expressed very differently. That's how it was for me at least.
I had an imagination as a child but preferred to play alone. I would spend hours dressing Barbie dolls and setting up houses for them, etc. But, I would never act out a story and I imagine to an outsider it just looked like I was dressing them over and over and rearranging for no reason when in reality, I had very elaborate stories in my head, that I saw no need to say out loud. I thought it was kind of silly even then, and as I got older I reasoned that I thought that because the other kids looked silly playing and talking out loud. Then again, maybe I was just taught not to expose anything I was doing because my mom would ridicule me for it, and learned to keep all the fun thoughts to myself.
That's a common theme in all the play I did as a child, though. It was always about preparing and arranging and planning for things, and it's still something I love to do and am good at.



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17 Jan 2012, 11:48 am

Angel_ryan wrote:
MagicMeerkat wrote:
I've always found that theory as nothing more than BS.

I have to agree. I lived in a fantasy land highly based off my obsessions. It took me a long time to grow out of it too, even now I like to think about living a different life deeply engaging a personal interest. Day dreaming relaxes me.
I have yet to meet an autistic person who says they were devoid of imagination as a kid. Who the hell are theorists to tell us what we have or don't have?!



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17 Jan 2012, 1:00 pm

I had imaginative play in spades. I also had no problem with invented scenarios with toys. In fact, it seemed to me that other kids had problems comprehending toys.

For example, I would make a plastic dinosaur the "king" of whatever world I invented. He could talk too.

Kid: "Dinosaurs don't talk and they can't be kings!"

Me: "Real dinosaurs can't talk or be kings. This is a TOY."

I suspected that other kids who couldn't tell the difference between toys and real dinosaurs were a tad dense. :lol:


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17 Jan 2012, 1:17 pm

rabbittss wrote:
When I was little I would spend hours Transforming, then lining up all of my Transformers/Power Rangers/assorted other robots into two opposing factions, and then take them back down again the same way. They never did get around to ever actually having a battle.. that would have meant to many missiles and small pieces to pick up.. not to mention the chance of something maybe getting broken.

I also kept all of them in individual ziplock bags when I wasn't playing with them so that I didn't lose anything.


I spent hours and hours arranging this flimsy plastic Barbie supermarket, with tiny cans of tuna and bags of chips, organizing all the shelves. They were all tiny and light pieces, and the shelves could be toppled with so much as a heavy breath, so I spent a lot of time doing this. :lol:

Littlest Pet Shop animals were separated into cats, dogs, rodents (further down into mice, hamsters, and gerbils), and birds. Then there was the one lone turtle. :D
And Polly Pocket's clothing was organized by the article and then the print.


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17 Jan 2012, 1:37 pm

I definitely lacked in the imaginative play area. Dolls and stuffed animals were only useful for dressing up or doing their hair. When I babysat kids my lack of imaginative play sometimes made things hard. So the kids were bored playing house or dolls with me.


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17 Jan 2012, 2:25 pm

I played imaginative play well with other children. The only thing I did seem to struggle with was playing games like You're It or Hide & Seek, those sorts of games. Well, I did enjoy them, but I always had suspicions of other kids cheating, and I always ended up getting angry, then if I lost any games I would get upset and sulk. I did grow out of that by around the age of 11, and learned to co-operate better.

Otherwise, I didn't have much trouble with playing games with other children. For an Aspie, I was actually quite good at playing imaginative games with other children. The ones who were worst at co-operating properly in imaginative games were kids who didn't have any brothers or sisters.


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17 Jan 2012, 2:33 pm

Ganondox wrote:
The trait is a lack of "imaginative" play, not lacking imagination why playing.
"Imaginative" play is thinking inside the box and pretending that you are doing normal things while playing with toys and other children.
I spent my childhood daydreaming (or not, if you believe what the media says), I do not lack imagination.

My childhood imaginary play was sorta like this.
Image
but with pokemon
Ganondox wrote:
It's not that imagination isn't there, it's just not expressed in the way it is among NT children.

If it's not expressed the same way as NT kids than it's not expressed at all LOLZ
If that's the case than NT thinking seems extremely flawed


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Last edited by Angel_ryan on 18 Jan 2012, 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mummy_of_Peanut
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17 Jan 2012, 3:40 pm

snpeden wrote:
Clearly it's not the case for everyone, but I do think there's some truth to it. Not that imagination is lacking completely, rather it's expressed very differently. That's how it was for me at least.
I had an imagination as a child but preferred to play alone. I would spend hours dressing Barbie dolls and setting up houses for them, etc. But, I would never act out a story and I imagine to an outsider it just looked like I was dressing them over and over and rearranging for no reason when in reality, I had very elaborate stories in my head, that I saw no need to say out loud. I thought it was kind of silly even then, and as I got older I reasoned that I thought that because the other kids looked silly playing and talking out loud. Then again, maybe I was just taught not to expose anything I was doing because my mom would ridicule me for it, and learned to keep all the fun thoughts to myself.
That's a common theme in all the play I did as a child, though. It was always about preparing and arranging and planning for things, and it's still something I love to do and am good at.

That's how it was for me. I doubt anyone watching me play would have realised what was actually going on in my head. I had over 100 tiny dolls and animals that had names and their own personalities. I would often act as a teacher, for example, but I said nothing out loud.


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17 Jan 2012, 4:49 pm

I am fairly certain this theory about ASD kids not having imaginative play is just biased garbage that confirms the idea that non-autistic people are "good", "right", and autistics are "bad" and "weird." My imagination was all that kept me going as a child. When I did play with friends, it almost always involved developing and playing with highly imagined, novel scenarios... though they were almost always about space exploration :P



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17 Jan 2012, 6:44 pm

ValentineWiggin wrote:
rabbittss wrote:
When I was little I would spend hours Transforming, then lining up all of my Transformers/Power Rangers/assorted other robots into two opposing factions, and then take them back down again the same way. They never did get around to ever actually having a battle.. that would have meant to many missiles and small pieces to pick up.. not to mention the chance of something maybe getting broken.

I also kept all of them in individual ziplock bags when I wasn't playing with them so that I didn't lose anything.


I spent hours and hours arranging this flimsy plastic Barbie supermarket, with tiny cans of tuna and bags of chips, organizing all the shelves. They were all tiny and light pieces, and the shelves could be toppled with so much as a heavy breath, so I spent a lot of time doing this. :lol:

Littlest Pet Shop animals were separated into cats, dogs, rodents (further down into mice, hamsters, and gerbils), and birds. Then there was the one lone turtle. :D
And Polly Pocket's clothing was organized by the article and then the print.


Yeah I was far more concerned with organizing them than I was with anything else. For instance Transformers at one time, came with little spec cards that listed their strengths and weaknesses.. so I'd always go the extra step to have them next to some one else who could compensate for their weakness. sort of a robot buddy system.

None of the kids at school who came over to play ever got that, and very few of them ever came over more than once.



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17 Jan 2012, 6:50 pm

I spend hours playing using my imagination. I never even heard this, even after I was diagnosed. My mom did state that I never did the "playing house" that "normal" kids usually do. I also scared off most of the play dates she tried to set up. I was happy alone, and I always thought my adventures with bad guys, detectives looking for clues and hero saving the way was WAY more fun than the "welcome home honey!" crud


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17 Jan 2012, 7:01 pm

ValentineWiggin wrote:
Littlest Pet Shop animals were separated into cats, dogs, rodents (further down into mice, hamsters, and gerbils), and birds. Then there was the one lone turtle. :D
And Polly Pocket's clothing was organized by the article and then the print.

Lately my little niece (9ye) asked me, if we could count her Little Pet Shop animals. YES! She had 54. Then I asked to her, if we should line them up by species or colours. I started and she said, that it is boring. :(

I had a dollhouse until I was fourteen and did nothing but lining all the stuff from big to small pieces and I had this very little plates and toys and food in mini-size and that was how I played with it. Then I would put everything into the house and take it out and line it up again.

I have imagination. For me at least. In my inside, but it is difficult to get it out.


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18 Jan 2012, 6:41 am

I'm NT (my son is AS), but I think my imaginative play may have been limited as a child. My mother reports that I was never interested in dolls, and the only good thing about Barbie was the elevator in her townhouse. (A fascination with that elevator seems to be common among us female engineers!) From 2nd grade on all I wanted to do was read -- before that I spent a lot of time listening to books on records that would play a chime to tell you to turn the page.

I tried playing action figures with my son, to encourage the development of his play skills, and nothing could be more boring to me than trying to make up a story and make these toys talk.



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18 Jan 2012, 7:10 am

Mummy_of_Peanut wrote:
snpeden wrote:
Clearly it's not the case for everyone, but I do think there's some truth to it. Not that imagination is lacking completely, rather it's expressed very differently. That's how it was for me at least.
I had an imagination as a child but preferred to play alone. I would spend hours dressing Barbie dolls and setting up houses for them, etc. But, I would never act out a story and I imagine to an outsider it just looked like I was dressing them over and over and rearranging for no reason when in reality, I had very elaborate stories in my head, that I saw no need to say out loud. I thought it was kind of silly even then, and as I got older I reasoned that I thought that because the other kids looked silly playing and talking out loud. Then again, maybe I was just taught not to expose anything I was doing because my mom would ridicule me for it, and learned to keep all the fun thoughts to myself.
That's a common theme in all the play I did as a child, though. It was always about preparing and arranging and planning for things, and it's still something I love to do and am good at.

That's how it was for me. I doubt anyone watching me play would have realised what was actually going on in my head. I had over 100 tiny dolls and animals that had names and their own personalities. I would often act as a teacher, for example, but I said nothing out loud.

It has just occurred to me that anyone watching me play with my little figures might have seen me 'lining up toys' - a phrase I've heard being used to describe one of the stereotype behaviours. I wonder if anyone has been able to figure out what these kids are actually doing in their minds. My internal world was elaborate and I suspect the same for many kids who appear to be just lining up toys.

Another thing my daughter used to do a lot was take toys out of their storage container and put them into another container. Toys would be taken from plastic boxes (where they should be stored) and put into piggy banks, bags, anywhere they shouldn't be. I tried to explain this to other Mums, who'd say, 'My child never puts stuff away properly either'. But, this wasn't what was going on at all. She was deliberately putting stuff in the wrong container as part of her game. I haven't figured that one out yet. Anyone else do things similar?


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Last edited by Mummy_of_Peanut on 18 Jan 2012, 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.