Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Weekend Lineup!

(Trey is 2 years 11 months)

This weekend was all about lines.. ok, so everyday is all about lines but I took pictures this weekend of his beautiful creations.  Trey lines up everything!  Sometimes it's a certain order.. sometimes it's just a line of things.  I know this is a very common "Autism thing".. but why do they do this??

He has magnetic animal and cars on the front door.  They are supposed to be matched and put in their holders to make sounds... but Trey just lines them up.

Trey's "go to" lineup.. his all time favorite.. the weekend wouldn't be complete without it. His ABC's in order!  I like the cute little twist he put on it here with the V through Z tumbling down.  Normally he has to have them in a continuous straight line and he makes sure they are all perfectly even. 

Books.  He grabs all the books around the family room.. his books, Daddy's books, Mommy's books.  He lines them up in no particular order and studies them.  He might be reading the titles, not real sure... but Daddy decided to get rid of the "Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare" just in case!

Numbers.. look real close.  They are perfectly 1 through 18!  I love this..

I found him a set of sight word flashcards at a garage sale a few months ago.  Within the last week or so, he has really taken to them.  He is like a little sponge learning new words everyday.  He knows many of them.. probably more than he can speak.  Trey speaks about 6 of these words really clear.. the others he tries but can't.  Yet..

So why is lining up toys/objects a common behavior with Autistic children??  Not saying that all Autistic children do this.. or that children who do are Autistic.  I know it could go either way.. but it is known to be very common.  Well, according to Autism Speaks.. this behavior is defined as "Restricted Patterns of Interest:

Restricted Patterns of Interest
Restricted patterns of interest refer to a limited range of interests that are intense in focus. This may also be referred to as stereotyped or circumscribed patterns of interests because of the rigidity and narrowness of these interests. This may be particularly apparent in very verbally fluent children with autism or Asperger Syndrome who often become obsessed with a single topic for months or even years. Restricted interests, obsessions, and compulsions can interfere with a child's normal activity or social interaction, and can be related to anxiety. In young children with ASD, similar restricted patterns may be evident in repetitive movements with objects. Rather than playing with toys in simple pretend play, or using objects in appropriate ways, children with ASD line up or stack toys or objects in the same way over and over again, persistently knocking down and rolling objects, or wobbling or spinning objects, and/or may show an intense focus and interest in how these actions or objects look.
This does make sense to me.  Trey does have an intense focus on what he lines up.. and it always has to do with letters/words or objects to count.  It is also something he has done to relieve anxiety or can be instigated by us if he is having a meltdown.  We know it is very calming to him...

I believe Trey (and perhaps other Autistic children) line up toys or objects as a way to gains some control and order in their world... a world he struggles to adapt his senses to and communicate in everyday.

No comments:

Post a Comment