Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | July 22, 2010


Playing is very important for all children, they learn important social skills, gross and fine motor skills, as well as develope imaginative play. Autistic children learn to generalize their skills that they had learned previously through play.

To develop play skills and adequate time to spend playing , the care taker, parents or therapist must gradually build up the time spent playing.

Play should be geared toward the appropriate use of toys or other materials.

For example playing with a car, one may imitate the noise the car makes and show the child how to make it move. If we are using play dough, the child can be taught how to use the rolling pin to smooth out the play dough, how to use the scissor to cut it, make balls out of it; they can even learn colors playing with different colors of play dough.

It is important for the caretaker to know how to play with an autistic child, so the children can benefit from leisure activities.

Depending on the child’s ability, you may choose from moderate to difficult challenging activities.

The toys we chose should be visually interesting, and stimulating to the brain as well.

If we choose to read a book for an autistic child,it is advisable to get a colorful book, which may have different textures on different pages, and flaps to capture the child’s interest.

If we decide to engage the child in physical play, they might like to use a swing, a trampoline or other riding toys. The use of a ball can help them develop their hand and eye coordination as well. These activities will give them an opportunity to exercise.

Sing along songs can enable the child to interact with other children, to develop a degree of following directions or commands, and learn sharing.

Allowing the child to engage in computer games can help them to develop and increase their vocabulary.

When playing with a child it is important to maintain eye contact with a child and try to reduce or even stop unwanted behavior, like flapping, biting etc.

Here are some tips for play activities for children developmental ages of 18 months to 24 months… (To find out what developmental age your child is; you may ask his therapist to do a test, or the developmental pediatrician, as well as the school psychologist.)

balls, bean bag toss, bike riding, bingo markers, books, chalk to draw, play dough, body awareness, buttons, computer games, coloring, folding, self care like hair brushing, hula hoops, jumping, lacing, legos, Mr. Potato head, musical toys, puzzles, pull toys, running, playing in sand box, water play, slide, skipping rope, song, sorting, swinging, use of tweezers, zippers.

These are only a few suggestions that you may teach your child if they are labeled as a non-verbal, low functioning autistic child.

The idea is to make learning to play fun, so the child can enjoy this time with you, or if they are alone they might be able to use their time in a productive and fun way.

Asses your child’s ability and introduce activities and toys accordingly. Do not put limitations on your child. When you expose them to a wide variety of things to learn, and have fun with, you will realize that the sky is the limit in what they can do.



  1. PLAY SKILLS PART 3 « My Autistic Muslim Child…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Salam,

    I don’t know if you remember me, some days ago I asked about vaccinations potentially being connected to Autism and mentioned I also had a terrible reaction to a vaccine in childhood. Whilst I’m highly functional alhamdullilah to the extent that no one (except my sister and me) has really considered this possibility, but I’m beginning to suspect whether I might possess what are known as ‘autism traits’ or be mildly borderline autistic.

    I did a few online Autism questionaires which I know aren’t conclusive, but each time I’ve consistently come up as ‘borderline’. I feel it explains a lot about why I was a bit of a ‘black sheep’ or eccentric in the family/community. I found it incredibly difficult to fit in at primary school, always found it that much more difficult to make or retain friends… just something wasn’t quite right. I think I did see at least one educational psychologist at school but no one spotted or pointed out anything to my parents- maybe cos’ the signs were so subtle it would’ve only been apparent to someone who knew me well for a long time.

    I don’t know if I’m a completely normal/typical person who is overthinking or overreacting or if there is something to this. Now to complicate matters further as an adult, I suffer from Chronic Lyme Disease which has a few overlapping symptoms (light, smell and sound sensitivity, mood disturbances, hormone dysregulation, emotional volatility, digestion problems including intolerance to gluten to name just a few symptoms)- it’s caused me to be even more acutely aware of what’s going on with me and my body.

    I could imagine if I did possess autistic traits then something could’ve been done in childhood, but now I’m 32 I want to know if this is something worth bothering to ask my Dr about? Should I bother to get tested or assessed for it? Or is it possible that if I manage my life well enough in spite of everything that I don’t need to bother? If I did get diagnosed, could it cause any disadvantages in terms of ending up with a ‘mental health label’? I’ve heard it’s harder to diagnose in women cos’ girls are better at hiding the symptoms or adapting so it’s less noticeable. My mum would expect me to keep it a secret for life or else no one would marry me lol (marriage is not high on my list of priorities, not until the Lyme Disease is brought under control anyway). Sorry I’m rambling and I know how valuable your time is so I’ll stop there. I appreciate any insight you may have on this inshallah.


    • wswrwb Neelu,

      Thank you for writing again. I am not sure if you read my reply to your other comment.
      Either way, I honestly can not say if you should talk to your doctor or not. It has to be your decision. If you have some issues I would certainly advise you to do so, so they may be addressed.
      I do see families hiding this condition from others so their children can get married later in their life. I do understand that social or rather cultural pressure is very hard to overcome. Muslims, need to understand that when it comes to marriage, and the question arise about medical condition any condition that is pertaining to either party has to be revealed.
      I did read an article Lyme disease, and how common amongst autistic children, and I am in a process of having my son tested as well. I agree with you that condition needs to be addressed for your future well being.
      Inshaallah I will be hearing from you again soon.

  3. […] Read the original: PLAY SKILLS PART 3 « My Autistic Muslim Child […]

  4. Self-forgiveness just the beginning. (Careers & Training).(parenting skills course)(Brief Article): An article from: Wind Speaker Reviews…

    I didn’t quite follow this to begin with. But when I read it a third time, it all added up in my mind. Thanks for the insight. Definitely something to think about. Thanks for sharing…

    • I am glad that it makes sense now, and I hope it will be useful for you one day.

  5. Jazakillah khayr for your response. Yes I did read your response to my other question as well- thanks for that. When I mentioned previously that I have a higher likelihood of ending up with an autistic child due to a medical condition- I was referring to the Lyme Disease cos’ they are linked like that. I’m really pleased to hear that you intend to have your son tested for it as well because Lyme Disease and Lyme induced autism are treatable. I’m not sure though if you’re aware of the massive controversies that surround Lyme Disease as a large proportion of tests end up as false negatives. For me half the battle was trying to get tested and then convince Drs that I have LD in the first place. Mainstream Drs have been more of a hinderance than a help in this matter and so I ended up having to pay privately for treatment with the money from my disability benefits. When it comes to LD, you need to see what’s called a “Lyme Literate Dr” or LLMD otherwise you wont really get anywhere. Also make sure that tests are carried out for all the borrelia species, not just borrelia burgdoferi and coinfections such as Bartonella and Babesia. I’m sure the more emotional and mood based symptoms stem from Bartonella rather than Lyme Disease (I have both). Have you seen the documentary “under our skin”? I think it’s worth seeing it even though it’s main focus is LD and not Autism.

    As far as I know, none of my immediate family are autistic but a couple of my second cousins are. In fact with one of the second cousins, I think it runs in her family (her dad, uncle and grandfather), but cos’ her elder relatives were raised in Pakistan and were functional enough to be verbal and hold down jobs- they were never diagnosed or recognised as mildly Autistic. My relatives refer to them all as the people with “attitude problems” and those men all have volatile marriages. I told my mum about my concerns about them but she thinks they’d be offended by the mere suggestion of Autism and wont agree to see Drs anyway so what’s the point of mentioning it?

    I still haven’t decided whether it’s worth speaking to my Dr about whether I might have it. At the moment, the LD is a much bigger fish to fry as it’s really taken over my life so I need to try and sort that out first before anything else.

    Your blog is great mashallah. I’ve never come across a Muslimah who is so positive and open about her child’s disability. I’m sure you know there’s a huge problem of cultural stigmas and all that cr@p.


  6. wswrwb ,

    Thank you for those good pointers about LD. I was fortunate to find a doctor who works with me, listens and have the same goal as I am. It is certainly is a blessing.
    Also, thank for your complement about this blog. The reason I started this blog is b/c Muslims have a hard time accepting autism, and children are not getting the services they need to get better simply b/c of a cultural garbage. I feel privileged that Allah had chosen me to do such difficult task, and I do have complete faith in Allah that He will reward me for this work (taking care of my little boy) and I firmly believe that he will get better. My philosophy is…” Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. Autism is a very real and pressing matter in Islam, and we just have to deal with it in a human way. Culture needs to be left behind.
    Thank you Neelu for your support, may Allah bless you and keep you very close to him always..ameen

  7. […] PLAY SKILLS PART 3 « My Autistic Muslim Child […]

  8. Perfect report! I’m only beginning out in advertising and marketing and attempting to discover to perform it properly – assets just like this guide are very useful. As our firm is based in america, it is all somewhat new to us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: