Floortime can be difficult to execute in children with lower functioning autism. Peter is already ten years old, and our biggest challenge in floortime is the same as when we started this intervention seven years ago: extremely restricted interests. We’ve tried a huge number of sports, games, toys, and activities. What we’ve discovered is although we can get Peter to engage in and reasonably enjoy a large variety of activities, there’s only a few we can use as motivators. Three things motivate Peter to get off the couch and cooperate: food, sensory activities, and music. So what we do is create circuits of activities, always incorporating one of these three activities as the “pay-off.” As long as Peter knows he can look forward to the “pay-off,” he’ll happily cooperate and interact with you to get through the other activities where you can introduce new ideas and work on those foundational social skills like facial referencing, coordinating actions, and repairing interactions. Of course, the most important goal of all is to have fun with you, so he associates his relationship with you with all the pleasure and sense of achievement he’s enjoying from the activities. Want an example? See the game section for a game we played today.
- "I do not pray for success. I ask for faithfulness."
- Mother Teresa
Author of “Teaching Your Child with Love and Skill: a Guide for Parents and Other Educators of Children with Autism, Including Moderate to Severe Autism”Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Available at JKP website: http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book/9781849058766 ; also available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Your-Child-Love-Skill/dp/1849058768/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1336368295&sr=8-2