Have you noticed that your child often lines up his / her toys? Rather than playing with trains or dinosaurs in a pretend way, he / she may spend lots of time meticulously placing them in a long line. Have you ever wondered why?
Lining up toys is a common feature of young autistic children. But why do they do this and how should we respond?
One of the features of autistic people is a tendency towards a more rigid thinking style. They often have a strong preference for order and predictability. Tasks or situations that require flexible thinking can be a challenge.
It is therefore understandable that young autistic children will show this thinking style in their play. Lining up toys is a way of bringing order and predictability to the immediate environment.
The key is not to stop your child from lining up their toys. Doing so may lead to distress or a tantrum because the perceived “chaos” will cause an increase in anxiety. It’s more helpful to use this information to...