One of the goals for Nik which all of his therapists have in common is Pretend Play. This was minimal back in March 2007, when he was officially tested for delays. It has improved over the last few months, particularly since he started his social skills classes.
I’ve written previously about him pretending to be Nik-tiger and asking me and Anju to be elephants. Today, he pretended to be a Sharptooth. It was dinner time, and I had called them both down for dinner. He came downstairs and peeked around the corner: “Sharptooth is hiding!”
I went along, “Does Sharptooth want to eat dinner?”
Long pause followed where he was making scary faces and skulking. “No, Sharptooth has poopy diaper!”
Oh. “Thanks for letting me know! Let’s change Sharptooth ‘s poopy diaper!”
He laughed and came to get his diaper changed. Then went to eat dinner. Pretty neat.
His play with toys went from every toy flying or falling off the side of the table/couch/person to functional play. He has had pretty limited play schemes: Dinosaurs roar at each other, crocodiles try to eat everything, dragons act like crocs, pirates say “aargh” and “yohoyoho, its a pirate’s life for me”, knights and kings fight, etc.
He tends to get stuck in play ruts, so I change out the toys in the playroom every month or so. I did it this morning, while he was in preschool. I had had enough of animals eating each other, and he was really fixating on his Fun2Learn Laughtop. So off to the toy closet (which has a lock!). I put out a few dollhouses, furniture, and people on their playtable.
When they came upstairs, he went straight to the bin where the animals are normally kept and was a little worried that the animals were gone. Then he saw the playtable setup and his face lit up. He ran over and said, “Look at all the doll houses!” Then he picked up a woman, bent her legs, and sat her down on a chair at the dining table. “She eat lunch!” Again, very neat.