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Can autistic children imitate other children?

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Asked by Anonymous at 7:55 PM on May. 9, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (9)
  • yes, if they want to... the trouble is getting them to see and want to do whatever the other kids are doing

    Answer by myheartx4 at 7:57 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • actually you sometimes get autistic kids who spend their school day repeating every conversation they hear. Or maybe they can only play with other kids in a Follow the Leader kind of way. Some can't figure out what to do unless they have it demonstrated, others could care less what others are doing, they have their own plan of attack!

    Answer by myheartx4 at 7:59 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • every autistic child is different. One child might imitate others, while the next child won't. Autism is such a broad spectrum disorder that you can't really generalize what they can or can't do. It depends on the individual child and their ability and willingness.


    Answer by VeronicaLee at 8:00 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • Yes. My 8 year old mimics the other children in his classes. He is high functioning and hyper vigilant! The problem is he doesn't ALWAYS know when behaviors are appropriate in different settings, but he has come a VERY long way through TONS of relationship development intervention programs.


    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:01 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • OP here. The thing is my son who is 2, will be 3 in september has speech delay, he goes to school for it, but when i ask what they think they say he's too young to diagnose it. He has maybe 3 or 4 words that he can say and he seems to understand commands sometimes and sometimes no and sometimes he'll respond to his name and sometimes no. He's never interacted with children before school because there are no kids in the neighborhood. In school he'll play next to them but hasnt interacted yet, but will play near them. I'm just a bit worried. He does line his cars in a row but will let me take them away from eachother with no melt down.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:09 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • just wait, don't rush to get him diagnosed into a corner. I have a son with ASD, & it took ages to figure out exactly what was going on. As long as his school is aware of the concern they will keep watching for other signs. It's very very normal for this age to not play with other kids, they play along side sometimes, but not usually in an interactive game. lining up cars is a stereotype that may or may not be significant -pick 10 of your friends and go look in their pantry, some will have stuff hotchpotch everywhere, others will have colourco-ordinated tupperware carefully labelled & arranged. Doesn't make them all autistic ( a little anal perhaps LOL) Relax, allow him to develop some confidence in his school world, he is very young still, & doing what is age appropriate.

    Answer by myheartx4 at 8:17 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • myheartx4, thank you. Your words put me at ease. All the people that i spoke with from the school, his therapist, his ped, just left me worried, so thank you again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:25 PM on May. 9, 2010

    Have a look at this website chart, scan down to Social/emotional - you'll see parallel play (which means I will play next to you, but not with you in any) it STARTS on average around 2 yrs
    Then Associative Play ( I can interact with you in a game but I have no concept of sharing are taking turns) starts on AVERAGE at 30 months but can take up to 48 months and still be considered normal
    Cooperative Play ( taking turns, sharing and allowing others to go first or direct the game) might have started by 36months, but is also okay if it takes til the child is 4yrs ( or in my husbands case 35yrs :-)
    These schedules are just averages, Does your little boy acknowledge you?, look you in the eye?( not other people, but you) Show pleasure?recognise places or people who are very well known to him? If you've got a yes to most of those, then I wouldn't get stressed. CONTD

    Answer by myheartx4 at 9:05 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • CONTD and many of those kids have been in full time 5 days a week care since they were 6 wks old, of course they are ahead socially. You might find simple sign language helps lots of toddler schools use them to help kids say what they need before their verbal skills are ready - this is a great starting point. Our kidergarten uses these extensively

    Answer by myheartx4 at 9:13 PM on May. 9, 2010

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